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Plant periclinal chimeras are genotypicmosaics arranged concentrically. Trials to produce them to combine different species have been done, but pratical results have not been achieved. We report for the second time the development of a very productive interspecific periclinal chimera in cassava. It has very large edible roots up to 14 kg per plant at one year old compared to 2-3 kg in common varieties. The epidermal tissue formed was from Manihot esculenta cultivar UnB 032, and the subepidermal and internal tissue from the wild species, Manihot fortalezensis. We determined the origin of tissues by meiotic and mitotic chromosome counts, plant anatomy and morphology. Epidermal features displayed useful traits to deduce tissue origin: cell shape and size, trichome density and stomatal length. Chimera roots had a wholly tuberous and edible constitution with smaller starch granule size and similar distribution compared to cassava. Root size enlargement might have been due to an epigenetic effect. These results suggest a new line of improved crop based on the development of interspecific chimeras composed of different combinations of wild and cultivated species. It promises boosting cassava production through exceptional root enlargement.
Category: Breeding
Authors: Bomfim, N. and Nassar, N.M.A.
Journal/Series: Genetics and Molecular Research
Publication Year: 2014

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