Genetic variation is the source for plant breeding. Somaclonal variation is genetic variation induced during tissue culture and also during ordinary growth in vivo, and occurs rather, often in sweet potato. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the degree of somaclonal variation in regeneration via somatic embryogenesis by phenotypic analysis under salinity stress condition and to assess the potential of somaclonal variation for development of salinity tolerant cultivar in sweet potato. The regenerated and control plants were evaluated under an established in vitrosalinity screen system where media were supplemented with 0, 75, 150 and 200 mM of NaCl. The data for parameters (number of roots, length of roots, leaf and root condition) was recorded in three repeat tests. Data analysis suggested a significant variation in salinity tolerance among regenerated and control plants that proved the occurrence of somaclonal variation in regenerated plants. Despite none of the regenerated line was selected as a salt tolerant line, present study shows that regenerated plants exhibited somaclonal variation that can be utilized for selection of desired traits in sweet potato.
Key words: Sweet potato, regeneration, somaclonal variation, salinity tolerance.
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