PhD defence

Water-saving potatoes. Exploring and characterizing drought tolerance mechanisms

PhD candidate mr. EB (Ernest) Aliche
Promotor prof.dr. RGF (Richard) Visser
Co-promotor dr. CG (Gerard) van der Linden
Organisation Wageningen University, Laboratory of Plant Breeding

Wed 13 June 2018 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


Potato is a food security crop of global importance. Potato is, however, affected by drought stress and drought will be more severe and frequent in the coming decades due to climate change. Therefore, we have used a combined expertise of many disciplines to investigate the necessary aspects of potato tha can be used to improve its drought tolerance. We found that longer duration and slower rate of foliage growth favoured tuber yield during drought conditions. Also, we found a molecular marker on chromosome three of the potato genome that may be used to select for marketable tuber size under drought. Our findings indiate that more number of xylem elements per unit stem area and a smaller diameter of xylem vessels contributed to drought tolerance. An integration of these findings in potato breeding programs will facilitate the improvement of drought tolerance in the crop.