Applications of ionizing radiation in mutation breeding
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As a predicted result of increasing population worldwide, improvements in the breeding strategies in agriculture are valued as mandatory. The natural resources are limited, and due to the natural disasters like sudden and severe abiotic stress factors, excessive floods, etc., the production capacities are changed per year. In contrast, the yield potential should be significantly increased to cope with this problem. Despite rich genetic diversity, manipulation of the cultivars through alternative techniques such as mutation breeding becomes important. Radiation is proven as an effective method as a unique method to increase the genetic variability of the species. Gamma radiation is the most preferred physical mutagen by plant breeders. Several mutant varieties have been successfully introduced into commercial production by this method. Combinational use of in vitro tissue culture and mutation breeding methods makes a significant contribution to improve new crops. Large populations and the target mutations can be easily screened and identified by new methods. Marker assisted selection and advanced techniques such as microarray, next generation sequencing methods to detect a specific mutant in a large population will help to the plant breeders to use ionizing radiation efficiently in breeding programs.