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International Journal of Plant Genomics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 723518, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/723518
Review Article

Mutations in Lettuce Improvement

Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1636 East Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905, USA

Received 30 June 2011; Revised 21 October 2011; Accepted 16 November 2011

Academic Editor: Jizeng Jia

Copyright © 2011 Beiquan Mou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Lettuce is a major vegetable in western countries. Mutations generated genetic variations and played an important role in the domestication of the crop. Many traits derived from natural and induced mutations, such as dwarfing, early flowering, male sterility, and chlorophyll deficiency, are useful in physiological and genetic studies. Mutants were also used to develop new lettuce products including miniature and herbicide-tolerant cultivars. Mutant analysis was critical in lettuce genomic studies including identification and cloning of disease-resistance genes. Mutagenesis combined with genomic technology may provide powerful tools for the discovery of novel gene alleles. In addition to radiation and chemical mutagens, unconventional approaches such as tissue or protoplast culture, transposable elements, and space flights have been utilized to generate mutants in lettuce. Since mutation breeding is considered nontransgenic, it is more acceptable to consumers and will be explored more in the future for lettuce improvement.