In vitro micro-tuber initiation and dormancy in yam
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2010.00418.x
Dormancy is a mechanism that regulates the timing of sprouting (germination) of affected plant parts as well as ensures that the food quality of edible parts is maintained in storage until the following growing season. In yam, however, little is known about the control of tuber initiation or tuber dormancy. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of selected plant growth regulators (PGRs) on tuber initiation and dormancy, using an in vitro system. In two replicated experiments, 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon, an ethylene source), abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA3) – and their inhibitors silver nitrate, fluridone and 2-chloroethyl-trimethylammonium chloride, respectively – were added at two concentrations to the culture medium prior to explant culture. Dates of micro-tuber initiation and sprouting (end of dormancy) and tuber number were recorded. In the control (no PGR) in Experiment 1, micro-tubers were initiated at the base of the stem after 176 days and sprouted 235 days later, that is 411 days after culturing. Most PGR treatments had only small effects (±30 days) on the duration of dormancy and the time of micro-tuber initiation. However, in GA3 micro-tuber initiation occurred after 76 days, about 100 days earlier than in the control, whereas fluridone affected the position of micro-tubers and duration of dormancy. With fluridone treatments, tubers were found at the base of the stem (normal position) and on lower and upper nodes. Lower node tubers sprouted within 225 days of culturing compared with about 420 days after culturing at other nodal positions and in other PGR treatments. These data suggest an important role for ABA and gibberellic acid in yam micro-tuber initiation and the induction of dormancy.