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Growth responses of mutants of spring barley to fumigation with SO2 and NO2in combination.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1994
JournalNew Phytologist
Number of pages8
Original languageEnglish


This study was undertaken to evaluate the range of variation in growth responses of sodium azide-induced M2mutants (stocks SI and S2) of spring barley, Hordeum vulgare. L. cv. Maris Mink, in relation to air pollution tolerance or sensitivity. The preliminary screening experiment with 150 nl l−1concentrations of SO2 and NO2 in combination for 10 d, yielded well-defined sensitive and tolerant lines in both the stocks. However, the percentage frequency distribution of plants in different injury classes varied and stock S2 showed a better segregation of different lines. In a subsequent experiment, treatment with a mixture of each gas at 100 nl l−lconcentration for 22 d caused a variable degree of growth reduction. As a result of air pollution treatment, most of the growth parameters were significantly (P < 0.001) reduced in the sensitive lines of both the stocks, whereas the tolerant lines showed a marked resistance to the growth inhibitory effect of the pollutants. The magnitude of the difference between the sensitivities of different lines was usually double or more, and the effects were, more pronounced in stock S2 than in stock SI. Root dry weight was more adversely affected than shoot dry weight in sensitive lines of both the stocks. The results indicated that inter-line differences in growth responses of these mutants were wide ranging, distinct and consistent. In conclusion, this study clearly demonstrates that artificial mutations may cause a markedly broad base of variation in air pollution sensitivity of crop plants which may be used in future plant breeding programmes of pollution tolerant cultivars.