Micropropagation of potato by node culture and microtuber production *
The potato is an integral part of the diet of a large proportion of the population of the world. Two very simple, but reliable, micropropagation techniques can be demonstrated using the potato. The first technique, called single-or multiple-node culture, involves production of shoots from cultured single or multiple nodes positioned horizontally on the medium. In potato, the initial sources of these nodes are specific pathogen-free tested (SPT) shoots established in vitro from meristem tips. The second — and perhaps more fascinating — micropropagation technique involves production of miniaturized tubers on potato shoots cultured in vitro. Microtuber production is a very useful method to propagate and store valuable potato stocks and may be adaptable for automated commercial propagation and large-scale mechanized field planting. This chapter illustrates micropropagation of potato by node culture and microtuber production. Potato tubers normally form underground but are produced in vitro from axillary meristems along the shoot. Usually only one microtuber fully develops on each shoot.