, 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. HannwegEmail author
  • W. Steyn
  • I. Bertling


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.


Livingstone potato Crop improvement Chromosome doubling Polyploid 



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.


  1. Allemann J (2002) Evaluation of Plectranthus esculentus as a potential vegetable crop. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pretoria, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  2. ARC (1979) Annual sweet potato research report. ARC-Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  3. Atherton J, Rees A (eds) (2008) Tropical root and tuber crops: cassava, sweet potato, yams and aroids, vol 17., Crop protection science in horticulture, CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Balao F, Herrera J, Talavera S (2011) Phenotypic consequences of polyploidy and genome size at the microevolutionary scale: a multivariate morphological approach. New Phytol 192:256–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beltram I, Kam Y (1984) Cyto taxonomic studies in the Zingiberiaceae. Notes R Bot Garden, Edinb 41:541–557Google Scholar
  6. Blakeslee A, Avery A (1937) Colchicine and double diploids. J Hered 28:411–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Busey P, Giblin-Davis R, Center B (1993) Resistance in Stenotaphrum to the sting nematode. Crop Sci 33:1066–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caruso I, Lepore L, de Tommasi N, dal Piaz F, Frusciante L, Aversan R, Garramone R, Carputo D (2011) Secondary metabolite profile in induced tetraploids of wild Solanum commersonii Dun. Euphytica 8:2226–2237Google Scholar
  9. Chen Z, Ni Z (2006) Mechanisms of genomic arrangements and gene expression changes in plant polyploids. BioEssays 28:240–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Codd L (1985) The genus Plectranthus. Flora S Afr 28:137–172Google Scholar
  11. Dhawan O, Lavania U (1996) Enhancing the productivity of secondary metabolites via induced polyploidy: a review. Euphytica 87:81–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dhliwayo P (2002) Underexploited tuber crops in Zimbabwe: a study on the production of Livingstone Potato (Plectranthus esculentus). PGR Newsletter, FAO-Bioversity 130:77–80Google Scholar
  13. Dhooghe E, Van Laere K, Eeckhaut T, Leus L, Van Huylenbroeck J (2011) Mitotic chromosome doubling of plant tissues in vitro. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 104:359–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Einarsson S, Josefsson B, Lagerkvist S (1983) Determination of amino acids with 9-fluorenylmetahyl chloroformate and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr 282:609–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fourie H (2005) In vivo evaluation of resistance to Meloidogyne incognita race 2 (Nematoda: Tylenchida) and identification of genetic markers for this trait in soybean (Glycine max). Ph.D. Thesis. Catholic University of Leuven, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  16. Gates R (1909) The stature and chromosomes of Oenanthera gigas De Vries. Arch für Zellf 3:525–552Google Scholar
  17. Gehrke C, Wall L, Absheer J, Kaiser F, Zumwalt R (1985) Sample preparation for chromatography of amino acids: acid hydrolysis of proteins. J Assoc Off Analyt Chem 68:811–821Google Scholar
  18. Goodey J, Franklin M, Hooper D (1965) The nematode parasites of plants catalogued under their hosts. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal: Bucks, p 214Google Scholar
  19. Greenfield H, Southgate D (2003) Food composition data—production, management and use, 2nd edn. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  20. Hilu K (1993) Polyploidy and the evolution of domesticated plants. Am J Bot 80:1494–1499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Horwitz W (2000) Official methods of analysis of AOAC International, 17th edn. AOAC International, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  22. Hussey R, Boerma H (1981) A greenhouse screening procedure for root-knot nematode resistance in soybeans. Crop Sci 21:794–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jaskani M, Kwon S, Kim D (2005) Comparative study on vegetative, reproductive and qualitative traits of seven diploid and tetraploid watermelon lines. Euphytica 145:259–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jatala P, Booth R, Wiersema S (1982) Development of Meloidogyne incognita in stored potato tubers. J Nematol 14:142–143PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Jiao Y, Wickett N, Ayyampalayam S, Chanderbali A, Landherr L, Ralph P et al (2011) Ancestral polyploidy in seed plants and angiosperms. Nature 473:97–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jones J et al (2011) Genomics and molecular genetics of plant-nematode interactions:Chapter 2. Springer Science + Business Media B.V, New York, pp 21–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Khosravi P, Jafarkhani Kermani M, Nematzade G, Bihamta M (2008) Role of mitotic inhibitors and genotype on chromosome doubling of Rosa. Euphytica 160:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kleynhans K (1991) The root-knot nematodes of South Africa. Technical Communication No. 231. Pretoria: Department of Agricultural Development, 61 ppGoogle Scholar
  29. Levin D (2002) The role of chromosomal change in plant evolution. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  30. Mehta R, Swaminathan M (1957) Studies on induced polyploidy in forage crops. Indian J Genet Plant Breed 17:27–57Google Scholar
  31. Murashige T, Skoog F (1962) A revised medium for rapid growth and bio assays with tobacco tissue cultures. Physiol Plant 15:473–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Murray J, Poole T, Ostazeski S (1986) Techniques for determining reproduction of Meloidogyne gramnis on Zoysiagrass and Bermudagrass. Plant Dis 70:559–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Omidbaigi R, Mirzaee M, Hassani M, Sedghi Moghadam M (2010) Induction and identification of polyploidy in basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) medicinal plant by colchicine treatment. Int J Plant Prod 4:87–98Google Scholar
  34. Osborn T, Chris Pires J, Birchler J, Auger D, Jeffery Chen Z, Lee H-S, Comai L, Mablung A, Doerge R, Colot V et al (2003) Understanding mechanisms of novel gene expression in polyploids. Trend Genet 19:141–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ott R, Longnecker M (2001) An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis. 5th edn, Duxbury Press, Belmont p 440 (pp 1–1152) t test and statistical principalsGoogle Scholar
  36. Poluektov N (1973) Analytical Methods of Flame Photometry. Technika knjiga, BelagradeGoogle Scholar
  37. Potato Board (1980) Nutritive value of potatoes. Fmg S Afr Potatoes A2Google Scholar
  38. Ramachandran K (1982) Polyploidy induced in ginger by colchicine treatment. Curr Sci 51:288–289Google Scholar
  39. Ramachandran K, Nair P (1992) Cytological studies on diploid and autotetraploid ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.). J Spices Aromat Crop 1:125–130Google Scholar
  40. Riekert F (1995) An adapted method for extraction of root-knot nematodes from maize root samples. Afr Plant Prot 1:41–43Google Scholar
  41. SAS Institute (2015) The Statistical Procedure manual. North Carolina 27513: SAS Campus Drive, CaryGoogle Scholar
  42. Shapiro S, Wilk M (1965) An analysis of variance test for normality (complete samples). Biometrika 52:591–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sims A, Shoemaker D (1993) Simultaneous liquid chromatographic determination of thiamine and riboflavin in selected foods. J AOAC Int 76:1156–1160PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Smith M, Hamill S, Gogel B, Severn-Ellis A (2004) Ginger (Zingiber officinale) autotetraploids with improved processing quality produced by an in vitro colchicine treatment. Aust J Exp Agric 44:1065–1072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Soltis P, Soltis D (2009) The role of hybridization in plant speciation. Annu Rev Plant Biol 60:561–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Soltis D, Soltis P, Tate J (2004) Advances in the study of polyploidy since plant speciation. New Phytol 161:173–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stebbins G (1947) Types of polyploidy: their classification and significance. Adv Genet 1:403–429PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Sun Q, Sun S, Li L, Bell R (2009) In vitro colchicine-induced polyploidy plantlet production and regeneration from leaf explants of the diploid pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar ‘Fertility’. J Hortic Sci Biotechnol 84:548–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tate J, Soltis D, Soltis P (2005) Polyploidy in plants. The evolution of the genome. Elsevier Inc., Burlington, pp 371–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Temple VJ, Ojobe TO, Onobun CE (1991) Chemical composition of Livingstone potato tubers (Plectranthus esculentus). J Sci Food Agric 56:215–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Urwin N (2014) Generation and characterisation of colchicine-induced polyploid Lavandula x intermedia. Euphytica 197:331–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Van Wyk B-E, Gericke N (2000) People’s Plants: a guide to useful plants of southern Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria, p 351Google Scholar
  53. Volvlas N, Mifsud D, Landa B, Castillo P (2005) Pathogenicity of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica on potato. Plant Pathol 54:657–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wendel J, Doyle J (2005) Polyploidy and evolution in plants. In: Henry R (ed) Plant diversity and evolution: Genotypic and phenotypic variation in higher plants. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  55. Windham G, Williams W (1988) Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica on corn hybrids and inbreds. Ann App Nematol 2:25–28Google Scholar
  56. Xaba P, Croeser P (2011) Wild Potato. Veld and Flora 2011:180-181Google Scholar
  57. Xu C, Chen W, Chen K, Zhang S (1998) A simple method for determining the content of starch–iodine colorimetry. Biotech 8:41–43Google Scholar
  58. Zhang A, Chang L, Xue J (2005) Progress in research on inducing the polyploid of medicinal plants. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 30:645–649Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations