African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12368

Full Length Research Paper

Table sugar as an alternative low cost medium component for in vitro micro-propagation of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)

Demo, P.1*, Kuria, P.2, Nyende, A. B.3 and Kahangi, E. M.3
1International Potato Centre Sub-Saharan Africa P.O. Box 25171 Nairobi, 00603 Kenya. 2Biotechnology Centre, Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI)-Kenya P.O. Box 57811-00200 Nairobi, Kenya. 3Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Department of Horticulture P.O. Box 6200 00200 Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 June 2008
  •  Published: 04 August 2008


Most 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.


Key words: Table sugar, micro-propagation, single node cultures, Solanum tuberosum L.