Potato Production under Drought Conditions: Identification of Adaptive Traits
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO),Tigoni, Kenya
International Journal of Horticulture, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 12 doi: 10.5376/ijh.2016.06.0012
Received: 22 Feb., 2016 Accepted: 01 Apr., 2016 Published: 21 May, 2016
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Preferred citation for this article:
Muthoni J., and Kabira J.N., 2016, Potato production under drought conditions: identification of adaptive traits, International Journal of Horticulture, 6(12): 1-9 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2016.06.0012)
Globally, potato is the third most important food crop after rice and wheat in terms of consumption. It is fast maturing, versatile in use and grows in a wide range of environments from sea level up to about 4700 metres above sea level and from Southern Chile to Greenland. Currently, potato production is rapidly expanding beyond the traditional high potential areas. This is mostly due to expanding world population accompanied by increasing food demand. However, potato is relatively susceptible to yield loss due to drought. Unfortunately, the extent, frequency and severity of drought occurrences have been increasing globally due to climate change. In order to feed the ever-increasing global population, increasing drought tolerance or resistance in potato through breeding is essential. For this to be successful, plant traits associated with drought tolerance or resistance need to be accurately identified and selected. Previously, water use efficiency (WUE) was identified as the most promising trait for selecting drought tolerant potato clones. This review also looks at the effect of moisture stress on potato growth, development and production; plant emergence and tuberization were identified as two critical periods when water stress mostly affect final tuber yield. Possibilities of conventional breeding as well as marker assisted breeding to increase drought resistance or tolerance were explored.
Breeding; Drought tolerance; Potatoes; Water use efficiency
International Journal of Horticulture
• Volume 6