In vitro culture instability can lead to genetic and epigenetic changes in crops called somatic mutations. These changes can also have positive effects. For example, it can be used in breeding programs to create new breeds with desirable traits. This article presents a systematic review aimed at answering the following questions do somatic mutations contribute to genetic improvement in plants? Five electronic databases were searched for articles based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria and standardized search strings. Somatic mutation techniques have been most commonly applied to ornamental plants, with 49 species cited in 48 articles, in various countries around the world, such as sugar cane, rice, banana, potato and wheat. Sixty-nine studies used the technique to assess genetic diversity generated among clones, and 63 studies assessed agricultural performance traits. Other studies relate to resistance to pathogens, ornamental properties, and resistance to abiotic stress. Application of the plant growth regulators (PGRs) benzylaminopurine (BAP) and dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is the most common method for generating somaclones, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA ( RAPD) molecular markers were the most commonly used markers for identification and characterized. Somatic mutations are used in genetic improvement programs in the world's most economically important crops to create genetic diversity and support the introduction of new genotypes resistant to disease, pests and abiotic stresses doing. However, much remains to be explored, such as the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying somatic mutations.
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