Alkylating efficiency of sodium azide on pod yield, nut size and nutrition composition of Samnut 10 and Samnut 20 varieties of groundnut (Arachis hypogea L.)
Mutation has been utilised to improve growth and yield of many food crops, but only little effort has been made to ascertain the nutritional advantages in such improved crops. The present study evaluates the alkylating efficiency of sodium azide of different concentrations on pod yield, nut size and nutritional composition of two groundnut varieties. Dry seeds of groundnut ( Arachis hypogea L.); Samnut 10 and Samnut 20 varieties obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ilorin, Kwara State of Nigeria were treated with different sodium azide concentrations (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50mM) for 12 hours. Seeds soaked in distilled water for 12 hours were used as control for each variety. The treated seeds and control were sown in planting bags in randomized complete block design with three replicates. Alkylating effects of the treatments were studied on pod parameters and nut size while proximate analysis was carried out on the nuts to determine their nutritional composition. The results showed that sodium azide treatment of 50 mM produced significantly taller plants with more branches and leaves. Analysis of collected data revealed that sodium azide is effective in achieving significantly earlier- maturing plants with higher pod yield, bigger nut size and heavier nuts. All concentrations of Sodium azide applied induced significant higher crude protein and fat with respect to control in samnut 10 while 50 mM yielded highest protein and fat in samnut 20 variety. Generally, nutritional values of the studied groundnut were improved by sodium azide treatments with respect to protein and fat content which are the most important constituents in groundnut utilization as food or raw material for edible oil. The study concluded that the alkylating effect of sodium azide was effective on pod yield, nut size and other nut characteristics of groundnut and could be employed to improve protein, crude fat and other nutrition contents of the nuts for human and animal consumption as well as industrial applications.