Performance of Virus-free and Virus-infected Plants of Mashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum, Ruiz & Pavon)

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  • 1 1Dept. Plant & Soil Sci., Univ. Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-1303
  • 2 2AMDE Corp., P.O. Box 632, Ambato, Ecuador
  • 3 3Foreign Disease Weed Sci. Res. Unit, Bldg. 1301, Ft. Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702

Mashua, closely related to the garden nasturtium, has been cultivated by people of the Andean highlands since Incan time; however, it is disappearing from Ecuadorean markets due to decreasing yields. The main objectives of this research were to compare 1) in vitro proliferation and rooting, and reestablishment, and 2) field plant qualities such as vigor and yield between virus-infected and virus-free plant material. Virus-free material was obtained from shoot apices about 0.2 mm in size isolated from virus-infected, in vitro maintained, microcuttings of a number of mashua lines. Mashua line had an effect on proliferation, reestablishment and tuber yield. Virus infection appeared to have a detrimental effect on the general in vitro performance of all lines. There were no differences in reestablishment between the virus-infected and virus-free plants. Although there were no overall yield differences between the virus-infected and virus-free lines, virus-infected lines produced significantly more large tubers.

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