For what purpose are mutagens used in breeding?

With the discovery of the mutagenic effect of radiation and chemicals, work has begun on the production of induced mutants. X-ray-induced barley mutants were obtained by A. Gustafsson. Among them, forms with increased grain productivity were selected, as well as a mutant with a shortened stalk that has now become famous. Similar mutants were then isolated from many cereals. They are resistant to lodging and provide great advantages for machine cleaning. In addition, a short and hard straw makes it possible to conduct further selection to increase the size of the spike and the mass of seeds without fear that an increase in seed productivity will lead to lodging of plants.
Using mutagens, mutations of male sterility are also obtained, which are used later in breeding programs for the production of heterotic hybrids of sugar beets, rice and other crops. Work on the use of chemical mutagenesis in plant and animal breeding has been widely developed.

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