Table sugar as an alternative low cost medium component for in vitro micro-propagation of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)
AbstractMost developing countries are limited in maximizing tissue culture technology due to the overhead costs involved. In view of this, the aim of this research was to evaluate alternative cheap sources of
carbon and energy in potato culture media in order to reduce the overall cost of micro-propagation. A randomized complete block design was used to compare laboratory grade sucrose with two types of
local commercial table sugar, specifically white and brown sugar. Three selected Kenyan potato cultivars, Tigoni, Asante and Kenya Sifa were cultured on full strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium at 3% (w/v) in combination with the 3 different sugars. The variation in growth performance of the cultivars was then observed. Plantlet survival of 100% was recorded after four subculture generations on all sugars for all the cultivars. The mean number of nodes per plantlet was significantly higher in brown sugar for cultivars Kenya Sifa and Asante. Brown sugar enhanced significantly higher mean number of roots per plantlet after four subculture generations for all cultivars. There was no
significant difference in percentage of plantlet survival after transplanting for cultivars Asante and Kenya Sifa but significantly lower for cultivar Tigoni on grade sucrose medium. Results also showed
that table sugar not only enhanced micro-propagation but also significantly lowered the production input costs by 34 to 51% when compared with the analytical grade sucrose.