2018 Volume 35 Issue 3 Pages 249-257
The development of new varieties of perennial plants generally requires lengthy and laborious procedures. In this study, we used ion beam irradiation mutagenesis in an attempt to accelerate the breeding process for perennial plants. We evaluated the biological effects of five ion beam sources (carbon, neon, argon, silicon, and iron) and neutron irradiation on Japanese gentian and apple. These treatments were applied at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) using the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) and the Neutron-exposure Accelerator System for Biological Effect Experiments (NASBEE). Biological effects were observed in in vitro gentian plants after irradiation with ion beams at <10 Gy, whereas apple trees were less sensitive to ion beam irradiation. The growth of gentians in vitro was repressed by 3 Gy neutron irradiation, while that of grafted apple trees was not affected by 4 Gy neutron irradiation. During in vitro proliferation, seven pink-flowered lines were obtained from originally blue-flowered gentian after C and Ne ion beam irradiation treatments. Genomic and reverse transcription-PCR analyses of these lines suggested that the mutations occurred in the genomic region containing F3′5′H (encoding flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase). These results provide useful information for the mutagenesis and breeding of gentian, apple, and other perennial plants.