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Euphytica

, Volume 207, Issue 2, pp 343–351 | Cite as

In vitro-induced tetraploids of Plectranthus esculentus are nematode-tolerant and have enhanced nutritional value

  • K. Hannweg
  • W. Steyn
  • I. Bertling
Article

Abstract

Plectranthus esculentus (Family: Lamiaceae), or Livingstone potato, is an edible tuberous vegetable which originated in Africa, with central Africa being the centre of origin. P. esculentus is found throughout the continent, including the north-eastern regions of South Africa. Although the tubers are edible, limited crop improvement has been achieved; therefore, a study comprising in vitro polyploidisation was carried out with subsequent evaluation of plant nutritional value and nematode tolerance of the induced tetraploids compared with the diploid controls. Tetraploid tubers had a higher starch content compared with the diploids, however there was no significant difference in mineral element content for either the leaves or the tubers when induced tetraploids were compared with the diploid control. Further, induced tetraploids appeared to be significantly more tolerant to rootknot nematode, Meloidogyne spp., than the diploids. A significantly higher number of egg masses per root system and number of eggs and J2 (juvenile stage 2) individuals per root system were detected in control plants, compared with tetraploid plants. Induced tetraploidy resulted in plants with a higher nutritional starch concentration and tolerance to rootknot nematode, characteristics which will improve the cultivation and utilisation of the crop. Morphologically, tetraploid plants had fewer, thicker stems per plant compared with diploid plants.

Keywords

Livingstone potato Crop improvement Chromosome doubling Polyploid 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Agricultural Research Council and Department of Science and Technology (ECS Programme) for financial assistance. Mr Gerrit Visser and Ms Elsabe Aylward of the ARC-Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops are thanked for technical assistance for the flow cytometry and mineral nutrition samples, respectively, as well as ARC-Irene Analytical Services for the nutritional analyses. Mardé Booyse of the ARC Biometry Unit is thanked for assistance with the statistical analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Improvement, Agricultural, Research Council – Institute for Tropical and Subtropical CropsNelspruitSouth Africa
  2. 2.Horticultural Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalScotsvilleSouth Africa

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