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High-value application of cassava starch in root crop micropropagation for sustainable seed systems in developing countries

Acedo, V. Z., Hinay, N. G., Binongo, M. M., Antona, J. Q.
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1179 pp. 293-298
Ipomoea batatas, Manihot esculenta, agar, cassava, cassava starch, crop production, cultivars, culture media, developing countries, growth and development, micropropagation, planting, root growth, roots, shoots, starch, yams
Despite the high cost of micropropagation, the use of tissue-cultured planting materials is now widely practiced in several crop production ventures in developing countries. One of the high-cost items in micropropagation is the agar as gelling agent of the culture medium, which is imported. This study examined the feasibility of using locally available cassava starch as a low-cost agar substitute in the micropropagation of purple yam and cassava. Starches from two cassava cultivars ('Lakan-1' and 'Rayong-5') were tested at different levels. Results showed normal growth and development of purple yam nodal cultures at all levels of starch used. However, at 8% starch, the medium was so soft that the nodal tissues were submerged, thereby causing a delay in shoot and root growth. Starch concentrations of 9% in both cultivars appeared to be optimal for yam, wherein culture responses were comparable to that of the usual 0.7% agar. However, for cassava, regardless of concentration, both starches were found to be unsuitable, because the cultures did not exhibit normal growth and development. Cost analysis of the use of 9% cassava starch revealed a more than 10-fold saving relative to the use of 0.7% agar.