The Tissue Culture Process
Meristem Culture: Potato plantlets for tissue culture are produced by meristem-tip culture, or micro propagation. Tubers for variety selection are chosen from North Dakota hill selections by their superior qualities as to size, uniformity, eye set, skin and color. Sprouts are taken from selected superior tubers for meristem development. No propagation system can guarantee 100% true-to-type plants. However, there is a need to produce high quality, uniform plants to be competitive in the potato industry.
In our laboratory we combine meristem culture with heat treatment and chemotherapy to produce high quality disease-free plantlets from hill selections.
Mother plantlets are cut into sections for disease testing & further multiplication. The mother plantlets are tested as indicated in Bulletin No. 49 North Dakota Seed Potato Certification Rules, Regulations and Tolerances (74-04-01-07) for the following:
Potato Virus Y (PVY), X, S, A, M, Potato Latent Virus (PotLV), Tomato Spotted Wilt (TSWV), Mop Top, GMO & Potato Leaf Roll Virus (PLRV) by ELISA test.
Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid (PSTV) by Dot blot hybridization
Bacterial Ring Rot (BRR) by gram stain, NBY or Richardson’s media culture & immunofluorescent antibody stain (IFAS)
Erwinia species by enrichment in crystal violet pectate (CVP)
Greenhouse propagation of tissue culture plantlets for minituber orders is done 4 months prior to planting in three crops a year. Plants are monitored daily throughout the growing season for moisture stress, fertilizer needs, and insect/disease pressure. 1% of each cultivar population is virus tested twice and vine-killed after minitubers have reached their proper size. Harvest begins after stolons have detached, 10-14 days later. Minitubers are stored at 36-38 degrees F and 95 % relative humidity.