Nutritional Characteristics of Brachiaria ruziziensis (Germain & Evrard) Subjected t d) Subjected to Different Doses of Gamma Ra ent Doses of Gamma Rays
Hoka, A. I.
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Appropriate methods of mutation induction are of high importance in pastures for increased genetic variability and improved forage performance. The objective of this research was to improve agronomic and nutritive performance of mutant lines through induced mutagenesis to seeds of a local landrace Brachiaria ruziziensis. The seeds were irradiated with 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40Gy doses of gamma radiation from Cobalt 60 (60Co). Treatments were; KE 0Gy, KE 10Gy, KE 20Gy, KE 30Gy, and KE 40Gy resulting into M1 seeds. The seeds were planted in the greenhouse in germination pots then transplanted to the field. Seeds of M6 plants (M7 seeds) were used to establish field experiment in a completely randomized block design, with three replications. Parameters measured included; tillering, leaf-stem ratio, dry matter, mineralogy, digestibility, and crude protein. Data collected was analyzed using Genstat version 18 software. Growth parameters that were affected by radiation included tillering and days to 50% flowering. Radiation increased neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and crude protein (CP). NDF had high positive correlation with ADF, CP had high positive correlation with leaf length. Results from agronomic performance, nutrient profiles indicated that the mutant lines differed from their parents. The mutant lines could be selected, multiplied and used in feeding trials to determine reproductive performance of dairy cattle fed on the mutant lines. Future studies should focus on total mixed ration formulation using the mutant lines, designed feeding trials, fractionation of amino and fatty acids from the lines for incorporation in poor forages and national performance trials of mutant lines with an aim of forage variety release. Application of nuclear technology to other grasses would lead to increased biomass and improved nutrition for increased animal productivity leading to food and nutrition security