Potato in Pakistan is cultivated over an area of 103.2 thousand hectares with an annual production of 1678.5 tonnes. Potato crop is prone to several viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens which cause economic losses up to 70%. On the other hand unavailability of healthy seed is a major problem for achieving maximum yield in Pakistan. There is a need to produce high quality disease free potato seed locally to reduce the import bill.
Technology Development, Demonstration and Recommendation
Tissue culture lab at NARC has initiated research on virus free seed potato production in Pakistan in early 1980s.Since than this lab is contributing in disease free potato production. The material produced was tested in northern areas on farmers’ fields which were further disseminated in different areas. This technology was then transferred to the private sector and also adopted by the other institutes in Pakistan. The technology later paved the way for introduction of locally produced potato seed. PARC extended the technology to the provincial research institutes by training manpower and sensitizing the scientific community on the importance of tissue culture technology in potato seed production.
Tissue culture technology has been developed to produce virus free in vitro plants and nucleus/basic potato seed. Field demonstration showed high rate of multiplication and increase in the yield which is about 20% more than the normal propagation. This technology is well appreciated by private and public sector.
Hussain, I., Z. Chaudhry, A. Muhammad, R. Asghar, S. M. S. Naqvi and H. Rashid. (2006). Effect of chlorocholine, sucrose and BAP on in vitro tuberization in potato (Solanum tuberosum). Pakistan Journal of Botany. 38: 275-282.
Hussain. I., A. Muhammad. H. Rashid. Z. Chaudhry. S. M. Saqlan Naqvi and R. Asghar. (2005). Morphogenic potential of three potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivars from diverse explants a prerequisite in genetic manipulation). Pakistan Journal of Botany 37: 889-898.