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In vitro screening of potato genotypes for osmotic stress tolerance

Dandena Gelmesa / Nigussie Dechassa / Wassu Mohammed
  • Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, E-mail: dandenagalmesa@gmail.com Nigussie Dechassa, Wassu Mohammed, School of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Endale Gebre / Philippe Monneveux / Christin Bündig
  • Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Woody Plant and Propagation Physiology, Hannover, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Traud Winkelmann
  • Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Woody Plant and Propagation Physiology, Hannover, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2017-06-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0035


Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a cool season crop which is susceptible to both drought and heat stresses. Lack of suitable varieties of the crop adapted to drought-prone areas of the lowland tropics deprives farmers living in such areas the opportunity to produce and use the crop as a source of food and income. As a step towards developing such varieties, the present research was conducted to evaluate different potato genotypes for osmotic stress tolerance under in vitro conditions and identify drought tolerant genotypes for future field evaluation. The experiment was carried out at the Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, by inducing osmotic stress using sorbitol at two concentrations (0.1 and 0.2 M) in the culture medium. A total of 43 genotypes collected from different sources (27 advanced clones from CIP, nine improved varieties, and seven farmers’ cultivars) were used in a completely randomized design with four replications in two rounds. Data were collected on root and shoot growth. The results revealed that the main effects of genotype, sorbitol treatment, and their interactions significantly (P < 0.01) influenced root and shoot growthrelated traits. Under osmotic stress, all the measured root and shoot growth traits were significantly correlated. The dendrogram obtained from the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean allowed grouping of the genotypes into tolerant, moderately tolerant, and susceptible ones to a sorbitol concentration of 0.2 M in the culture medium. Five advanced clones (CIP304350.100, CIP304405.47, CIP392745.7, CIP388676.1, and CIP388615.22) produced shoots and rooted earlier than all other genotypes, with higher root numbers, root length, shoot and root mass under osmotic stress conditions induced by sorbitol. Some of these genotypes had been previously identified as drought-tolerant under field conditions, suggesting the capacity of the in vitro evaluation method to predict drought stress tolerant genotypes. Most of the genotypes collected from Ethiopia were found to be susceptible to osmotic stress, except one farmers’ cultivar (Dadafa) and two improved varieties (Zemen and Belete). Field evaluation of the tested materials under drought conditions would confirm the capacity of osmotic stress tolerant genotypes to perform well under drought-prone conditions and the potential interest of in vitro evaluation as a pre-screening component in potato breeding programs.

Keywords : drought stress; Solanum tuberosum; sorbitol; water deficiency


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About the article

Received: 2016-11-12

Accepted: 2017-05-22

Published Online: 2017-06-30

Published in Print: 2017-02-23

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 308–316, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0035.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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