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  • Author or Editor: J. Abdulnour x
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Microtubers (Solanum tuberosum cv Snowden) were produced in 1-L jar fermentors using a two-step method consisting of a shoot multiplication phase (21 days) followed by a tuberization phase (25 days). The plantlets were immersed in Murashige and Skoog (MS) liquid medium for 3.5 min every 4 h. Low concentrations of ancymidol (anti-gibberellic substance), particularly during the shoot multiplication phase, were essential for tuber initiation and development. A continuous supply of 2 μMol ancymidol during the two phases of culture decreased plant height, but produced >100 microtubers per jar. Although the tuber development phase was short (25 d), 25% of the microtubers produced were >0.5 g with 17.5% to 18.0% of dry-matter content.

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The effect of successive harvests on potato microtuber yield (fresh weight and number) and size distribution in stationary liquid cultures was evaluated in cultivars Norland, Bintje, and Shepody. Harvesting microtubers successively at both 33 and 65 days, compared with a single harvest at 65 days, increased the total number of microtubers but decreased the number of larger microtubers (>0.75 g). Selective removal of Shepody microtubers >8 mm (>0.5 g) at 33 days increased the combined total number of microtubers from both harvests, but decreased the number of very large microtubers (>1.5 g). Successive harvest had no effect on total fresh weight yield, but increased overall microtuber numbers and skewed the size distribution downwards.

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Micropropagation and minituber production technology may enable the establishment of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) seed tuber certification programs in arid and semiarid regions of the world and reduce dependency on expensive seed tuber imports. Therefore, we investigated possible carry-over effects of moderate salt stress on the following production cycle. The yields of seed tuber- and microtuber-derived plants of potato, cv. Norland, grown in both nonsaline and saline (NaCl) growing conditions (pretreatment), were evaluated under nonsaline or saline irrigation (0 or 60 mm NaCl) in a greenhouse trial. Pretreatment had no effect on yield; there was no apparent residual carry-over effect of salt stress of parent plants on tuber yield of seed tuber- or microtuber-derived plants. Irrigation with a 60 mm NaCl solution depressed total tuber fresh weight in both seed tuber-(43%) and microtuber-derived plants (75%), but total tuber number was increased (77% and 663%, respectively). This increase in tuber numbers has potential value in the minituber production industry.

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