, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 249–258 | Cite as

Genetic improvement of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) through EMS induced mutation breeding for higher seed yield under western Canada prairie conditions

  • Saikat K. Basu
  • Surya N. AcharyaEmail author
  • James E. Thomas


Most fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum L. suitable for western Canada exhibit an indeterminate growth habit and take about 120 days to produce a good proportion of high quality seed. Late maturity is a major inconvenience for seed producers in temperate climates prevalent in this region where plants must mature within a much shorter growing season. The objective of this study was to develop early maturing fenugreek mutants with a determinate growth habit to ensure uniform maturity within the 100 frost free days available on the Canadian prairies. Seeds from Tristar Fenugreek, a forage cultivar developed for production in western Canada, were treated with 10–300 mM ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) for 2–24 h and plants were selected for determinate growth habit, early maturity and high seed yield. This mutation breeding approach has detected new breeding material exhibiting early seed maturity coupled with high seed yield, seed quality and determinate growth habit. Successful development of useful mutants in fenugreek was reported before, but this is the first report on successful use of mutation breeding for improvement in quantitative traits in this crop.


Breeding Cultivar EMS Fenugreek Mutagen Seed yield Trigonella foenum-graecum L. Tristar 



Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Ethyl methane sulfonate


Lethbridge Research Centre


Mutation generations, subscript represent the number of generation



Financial assistance for this study was partly provided by the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute, Farming for the Future Program and the School of Graduate Studies, University of Lethbridge in the form of a Student Assistantship. We also acknowledge the help of D. Friebel (Forage Technician), for his help with the field trials at AAFC, Lethbridge.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saikat K. Basu
    • 1
  • Surya N. Acharya
    • 2
    Email author
  • James E. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  2. 2.Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Lethbridge Research CentreLethbridgeCanada

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