Swiss Federal Research Station for plant Production, Changins, 1260 Nyon 1

Bioencapsulation: in vitro production and conservation of miniaturized seeds of potato

A procedure for the encapsulation of nodal segments of potato aiming to preserve their growth potential for a long period of storage is described. Nodal segments with axillary buds were encapsulated in calcium alginate matrix containing Murashige & Skoog (MS) nutritive medium. These segments (or microbeads) were then stored at +4 °C for a period of 12 months, in order to examine their regeneration capacity. Up to 90% of encapsulated cv. Matilda plant material retrieved its regeneration potential, while 80% of cv. Bintje and only 40% of cv. Charlotte survived when transferred to conventional conditions after 12 months of storage. This technique offers the possibility of producing potato seeds, beside other means of propagation, for the distribution of pre-basic plant material or for the conservation of agronomically important genotype collections.

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