In collaboration Iranian Medicinal Plants Society

Document Type : Short Communication


1 Yazd University

2 Assistant Professor of Biotechnology, Department of Arid Land and Desert Management, School of Natural Resources and Desert Studies, Yazd University, Yazd, IRAN

3 Associate Professor of Biotechnology, Department of Agriculture, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran

4 MSc graduate of Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran


In recent years, the use of saffron spice is increasing due to its medicinal properties and effective components. In addition to increasing crop production, increasing the quantity and quality of secondary metabolites is considered one of the most important objectives of plant breeding programs. On the other hand, the saffron plant has low genetic diversity due to the nature of vegetative propagation and induction of variation through mutagenesis is a suitable tool to achieve the desired diversity. Gamma radiation is one of the most widely used physical mutagens in plant breeding programs. In order to investigate the effect of gamma-ray on some growth and phytochemical indices of saffron plants, an experiment was conducted in an unbalanced complete randomized design with three treatments (Control, 15 and 18 Gy) at Yazd University. In this experiment, 15 and 18 Gy doses of gamma irradiation (Co60) were applied at Karaj Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute to induce mutations on collected saffron corms from Qaen, South Khorasan in August 2017. In this study, picrocrocin, safranal and crocin were measured in a 1% aqueous solution at 254, 330 and 440 nm wavelengths, respectively. Based on the results of this experiment, the effect of irradiation on picrocrocin and crocin was significant (P <0.001) and the observed amounts of these compounds (93.77 and 263.02) at the dose of 15 Gy were significantly higher than 18 Gy (92.34 and 262.73), while in terms of safranal content, the difference between radiation levels was not significant. Leaf area index and harvest index were also significant and showed the highest amount of these two indices at 15 Gy dose (3.06 and 0.14). In this study, although gamma radiation treatment could not significantly change the number of daughter corms between different levels of radiation and control, a significant reduction in relative chlorophyll content and an average weight of corms were observed compared to the control (without radiation). In general, the results of this study showed that in phytochemical traits as well as harvest index and leaf area, 15 Gy had a significant advantage over plants without radiation, but at higher levels of gamma radiation, probably due to degradation of genetic content and its effect on some biochemical parameters, 18 Gy plants failed to show acceptable results.


Main Subjects

Ahamed, T.E.S. 2019. Bioprospecting elicitation with gamma irradiation combine with chitosan to enhance, yield production, bioactive secondary metabolites and antioxidant activity for saffron. Journal of Plant Sciences 7 (6): 137-143.
Ahloowalia, B.S., and Maluszynski, M. 2001. Induced mutations–A new paradigm in plant breeding. Euphytica 118 (2): 167-173.
Ahmad, M., Zaffar, G., Mir, S.D., Razvi, S.M., Rather, M.A., and Mir, M.R. 2011. Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) strategies for enhancing productivity. Research Journal of Medicinal Plant 5 (6): 630-649.
Alavizadeh, S.H., and Hosseinzadeh, H. 2014. Bioactivity assessment and toxicity of crocin: a comprehensive review. Food and Chemical Toxicology (64): 65-80.
Alsayied, N.A.F.A. 2015. Molecular diversity and relationships of saffron and wild Crocus species. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Biology, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.
Beiki, A.H., Keifi, F., and Mozafari, J. 2010. Genetic differentiation of Crocus species by random amplified polymorphic DNA. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology 18: 1-10.
Busconi, M., Soffritti, G., Stagnati, L., Marocco, A., Martínez, J.M., Pascual, M.D.L.M., and Fernandez, J.A. 2018. Epigenetic stability in saffron (Crocus sativus L.) accessions during four consecutive years of cultivation and vegetative propagation under open field conditions. Plant Science 277: 1-10.
Caiola, M.G., and Canini, A. 2010. Looking for saffron’s (Crocus sativus L.) parents. Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology 4 (2): 1-14.
El-Garhy, H.A., Sherif, H.S., Soliman, S.M., Haredy, S.A., and Bonfill, M. 2021. Effect of gamma rays and colchicine on silymarin production in cell suspension cultures of Silybum marianum: A transcriptomic study of key genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway. Gene 790: 145700.
Heidarieh, N., Najafifard, M., Rohani, A.H., and Eidi, A. 2021. Effects of tarragon hydroalcoholic extract and coumarin on memory, tissue index and GABAA receptor gene Expression in the hippocampus of male rats. Research Square.
Hong, M.J., Kim, D.Y., Ahn, J.W., Kang, S.Y., Seo, Y.W., and Kim, J.B. 2018. Comparison of radiosensitivity response to acute and chronic gamma irradiation in colored wheat. Genetics and Molecular Biology 41: 611-623.
Jahandar Zaboli, F.A., Izanloo, M.G.G., and Rahimi, M. 2022. Radio-sensitivity test to determine the suitable dose to induce mutation in saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Journal of Saffron Research 9 (2): 243-259. (In Persian with English Summary).
Jozghasemi, S., and Rabiei, V. 2019. The assessment and feasibility of breeding study in Iris persica by gamma-ray. Applied Crop Breeding 4 (1): 75-89.
Jun, Z., Xiaobin, C., and Fang, C. 2006. The effects of 60Co γ-Irradiation on development of Crocus sativus L. In II International Symposium on Saffron Biology and Technology 739: 307-311.
Khan, M.A., Nagoo, S., Naseer, S., Nehvi, F.A., and Zargar, S.M. 2011. Induced mutation as a tool for improving corm multiplication in saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Journal of Phytology 3: 8-10.
Koutoua, A., N’guessan, K., Dognim  S., Soumaïla, O., Blaise, K.A.E.E., Nadia, K.A., and Justin, K.Y. 2021. Impact of drought on the foliar physiology of maize plants irradiated with gamma radiation. International Journal of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 13 (2): 30-37.
Kovacs, E., and Keresztes, A. 2002. Effect of gamma and UV-B/C radiation on plant cells. Micron 33 (2): 199-210.
Mir, M.A., Mansoor, S., Sugapriya, M., Alyemeni, M.N., Wijaya, L., and Ahmad, P. 2021. Deciphering genetic diversity analysis of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) using RAPD and ISSR markers. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 28 (2): 1308-1317.
Moghaddam, S.S., Jaafar, H., Ibrahim, R., Rahmat, A., Aziz, M.A., and Philip, E. 2011. Effects of acute gamma irradiation on physiological traits and flavonoid accumulation of Centella asiatica. Molecules 16 (6): 4994-5007.
Molina, R.V., Renav Morata, B., Nebauer, S.G., Garcia Luis, A., and Guardiola, J.L. 2010. Greenhouse saffron culture temperature effects on flower emergence and vegetative growth the plants. Acta Horticulturae 850: 91-94.
Nielsen, E., Temporiti, M.E.E., and Cella, R. 2019. Improvement of phytochemical production by plant cells and organ culture and by genetic engineering. Plant Cell Reports 38 (10): 1199-1215.
Poma, A., Fontecchio, G., Carlucci, G., and Chichiricco, G. 2012. Anti-inflammatory properties of drugs from saffron crocus. Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry-Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergy Agents) 11 (1): 37-51.
Rahimi, M.M., and Bahrani, A. 2011. Effect of gamma irradiation on qualitative and quantitative characteristics of canola (Brassica napus L.). Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 8 (2): 519-525.
Rashid, K.A., Jamaludin, M.I., Farzinebrahimi, R., Nezhadahmadi, A., Taha, R.M., Abd Aziz, N.A., and Mamat, M. 2018. Effect of gamma-ray radiation on morphological development of Orthosiphon stamineus (Cat Whisker). Life Science Journal 15 (11): 45-50.
Seifati, S.E., Mohit Ardakani, A.M., Izanloo, A., and Borzoei, A. 2021. Induced morpho-physiological variation in saffron (Crocus sativus L.) using gamma radiation. Journal of Saffron Research 9 (1): 115-129.
Seyhoon, M. 2017. Effect of gamma irradiation on quantification of crocin, kaempferol and safranal components of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in Ghaen, Torbat Heydarieh and Kalat regions. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation 9 (1): 97-104.
Shirmohammadi-Aliakbarkhani, Z. 2002. Using crop water stress index to determine crop water stress and irrigation scheduling of saffron. Irrigation and Drainage, Irrigation Department, Shiraz University, M. Sc. Thesis, 168.
Shokrpour, M. 2019. Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) breeding: opportunities and challenges. Advances in plant breeding strategies: Industrial and Food Crops 675-706.
Tiwari, A., and Singh, A.K. 2018. Influence of gamma irradiation (60Co) on vegetative and propagule parameters in gladiolus varieties. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 7 (6): 1097-1103.
Ulukapi, K., and Nasircilar, A.G. 2018. Induced mutation: creating genetic diversity in plants. In Genetic Diversity in Plant Species-Characterization and Conservation. IntechOpen. 41-55
Vandenhove, H., Vanhoudt, N., Cuypers, A., van Hees, M., Wannijn, J., and Horemans, N. 2010. Life-cycle chronic gamma exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana induces growth effects but no discernable effects on oxidative stress pathways. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 48 (9): 778-786.
Wachisunthon, D., Marsud, S., Poonsatha, S., Jetawattana, S., and Sitthithaworn, W. 2021. Productivity of L-DOPA in in vitro shoots of Mucuna pruriens var. utilis enhanced by gamma radiation. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 11 (01): 084-088.
Yadav, A., Singh, B., and Singh, S.D. 2019. Impact of gamma irradiation on growth, yield and physiological attributes of maize. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology (57): 116-122.