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Electronic Journal of Biotechnology

versión On-line ISSN 0717-3458

Electron. J. Biotechnol. v.1 n.3 Valparaíso dic. 1998

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-34581998000300001 

Plant Biotechnology
EJB Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458 Vol.1 No.3, Issue of December 15, 1998.
© 1998 by Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile
REVIEW ARTICLE

Medium-term and long-term in vitro conservation and safe international exchange of yam (Dioscorea spp.) germplasm

Bernard Malaurie *
GeneTrop – Unité de Génétique et d’Amélioration des Plantes - Centre ORSTOM** – 911 avenue Agropolis - BP. 5045 -F. 34032. Montpellier Cedex 1, France.
Tel: Bureau (33)-- 4 67 41 62 44.Standard (33)-- 4 67 41 61 00
Fax: (33)-- 4 67 54 78 00

E-mail : Bernard.Malaurie@mpl.orstom.fr

Marie-France Trouslot
GeneTrop – Unité de Génétique et d’Amélioration des Plantes - Centre ORSTOM** – 911 avenue Agropolis - BP. 5045 -F. 34032. Montpellier Cedex 1, France.

Julien Berthaud
GeneTrop – Unité de Génétique et d’Amélioration des Plantes - Centre ORSTOM** – 911 avenue Agropolis - BP. 5045 -F. 34032. Montpellier Cedex 1, France.

Mustapha Bousalem
Laboratoire de Phytovirologie des Régions Chaudes (LPRC) – CIRAD-ORSTOM** – avenue du val de Montferrand - BP. 5035 -F. 34032 - Montpellier Cedex 1, France.

Agnès Pinel
Laboratoire de Phytovirologie des Régions Chaudes (LPRC) – CIRAD-ORSTOM** – avenue du val de Montferrand - BP. 5035 -F. 34032 - Montpellier Cedex 1, France.

Jean Dubern
Laboratoire de Phytovirologie des Régions Chaudes (LPRC) – CIRAD-ORSTOM** – avenue du val de Montferrand - BP. 5035 -F. 34032 - Montpellier Cedex 1, France.
E-mail : dubern@melusine.mpl.orstom.fr


http://www.mpl.orstom.fr

*Corresponding author

**ORSTOM is now called IRD, Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement.

Keywords: Active and base in vitro genebanks’, Chemotherapy, Cryopreservation, Disease-free techniques, Indexation techniques, Slow growth condition culture, Virus eradication, Yam viruses.

Abstract Reprint (PDF)
Abstract
Article
References

Yam edible tubers feed million of peoples in the intertropical area, where they represent 12% of human feeding. However, as a vegetatively propagated crop, yam is seriously affected by an accumulation of pathogens. Establishing in vitro germplasm collection is a process that cleans the plants from all diseases but viruses. It gives a good control on the preservation of the yam genetic resources and facilitates international exchanges of healthy plant material.
Two kinds of in vitro germplasm preservation were considered : slow growth condition culture for mid-term preservation, and cryopreservation using the encapsulation/dehydration technique for long-term preservation. Virus eradication was approached by meristem culture and chemo and thermotherapy. Production of virus-free plants was controlled by ELISA.
We succeeded in the introduction and maintenance of 20 yam species, under slow growth conditions. Cryopreservation was applied successfully on two edible yam species, Dioscorea. alata L and D. bulbifera L. Virus-free plants were obtained by meristem culture in D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex and D. praehensilis. Indexation allowed the detection of different virus (poty-, potex-, badna- and cucumovirus), where the most important potyvirus was YMV.
Mid-term conservation of yam germplasm is used routinely, and from these conditions a direct acclimatization is possible. On the cryopreservation aspect, experiments are under way to apply the optimized protocol to genotypes which are more representative of the diversity, to insure a routinely use. More work can be conducted now on virus eradication, based on knowledge accumulated on potyvirus diversity, on several tests available for yam indexing (ELISA, rt/PCR, monoclonal antibodies) and on new sanitation techniques.

Article
Abstract
Article
  • In vitro conservation
  • Medium_term conservation
  • Long-term conservation
  • Indexation and disease-free germplasm production
  • Virus eradication techniques
  • Safe international exchange
  • Concluding remarks
  • Figure 1
  • Table 1
  • Table 2
  • Table 3
  • Table 4
  • Table 5
  • Table 6
  • Table 7
  • Table 8
  • Table 9
  • Table 10
    References
  • Yam belongs to Dioscorea genus which has more than 600 species (Coursey, 1967) most of them distributed in the intertropical humid area. We will distinguish two types of yam: 1) medicinal yams, 2) edible yams and relatives. Medicinal yams concern about fifty species caracterized by their sapogenin content, which are steroidal components. For the edible yams and relatives, we will observe two groups: 1) domesticated species, 2) and wild species.
    For domesticated species we consider that forty to fifty species are occasionally used (Martin and Degras, 1978). From these only eleven are cultivated (Table 1). From the 11 cultivated, 6 represent an important part of feeding (D. alata, D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex, D. bulbifera, D. dumetorum, D. esculenta, D. trifida), 3 are scattered in all the intertropical humid area (D. alata, D. bulbifera, D. esculenta), and yam belonging to the D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex take place most of them in West Africa and some in the Caribbean area. The other yams are cultivated in their origin area (Degras, 1986).

     

     

     

    Table 1 . Main edible species of yam

     

    Species 1

    Zone of origin

    Zone of culture

         

    Enantiophyllum Section

       

    D. alata L.

    South East Asia

    Inter-tropical humid

    D. cayenensis Lamk.

    D. rotundata Poir.

    complex 2

    West Africa

    West and Central Africa, and Caribbean

    D. nummularia Lamk.

    Indonesia, Oceania

    Indonesia, Oceania and

    Micronesia

    D. opposita Thunb.

    D. japonica Thunb.

    complex 3

    Temperate area from:

    China, Corea, Taiwan

    Japan

    Temperate area from:

    China, Corea, Taiwan

    Japan

    D. transversa Br.

    South Pacific

    South Pacific

    Lasiophyton Section

       

    D. dumetorum (Kunth) Pax.

    West Africa

    West Africa

    D. hispida Dennst.

    India, South-China, New Guinea

    India, South-China, New Guinea

    D. pentaphylla L.

    Himalaya and Oceania

    Himalaya and Oceania

    Combilium Section

       

    D. esculenta (Lour.) Burk.

    South East Asia

    Inter-tropical humid

    Opsophyton Section

       

    D. bulbifera L.

    South East Asia and Africa

    Inter-tropical humid

    Macrogynodium Section

       

    D. trifida L.

    Guyana, Amazonian basin

    Caribbean

    Sources: Malaurie et al. (1998a)

    1 Species have been regrouped in Section by Knuth (1924), completed by Burkill (1960)
    2 Grouping together species of D. cayenensis and D. rotundata in a Complex has been proposed by Ayensu and Coursey (1972), Martin and Rhodes (1978), Miège (1982)
    3 Grouping together species of D. opposita and D. japonica in a Complex has been proposed by Tanaka (1977).

    Main edible species of yams are: 1) native of a continent, 2) and cultivated in the same continent, 3) or/and cultivated in an other. This observation implies very strong links to exchange problems. In Table 2, 36 countries have been observed by IBPGR in 1986 with Dioscorea germplasm. These countries are supposed to be concerned by an international exchange of yam germplasm. Some of them, have, in our knowledge, already developed in vitro germplasm collection.

    Table 2 . Countries¹ and geographic zones where yam collections have been observed

    Europe

    West Indies

    America

    Pacific

    Asia

    Africa

               

    France 2

    Barbados *

    Brazil 2

    Cook Islands

    Bengladesh

    Bénin

               

    United Kingdom 2

    Cuba

    Colombia

    Fiji

    India

    Burkina Faso

               
     

    Guadeloupe 2

    Costa Rica

    Niue Islands

    Indonesia

    Cameroun

               
     

    Jamaïque

    Guatemala

    Nouvelle Calédonie 2

    Japan 2

    Côte d’Ivoire 2

               
     

    Saint-Domingue

    Mexico

    Papua NewGuinea

    Malaisia

    Ghana

               
     

    Trinidad

    y Tobago

    Panama

    Salomon Islands

    Nepal

    Nigeria 2

               
       

    USA

    Tonga

    Philippina

    South Africa

               
         

    Vanuatu

    Sri Lanka

    Togo

               
         

    Western Samoa 2

    Thailand

    Uganda

               
           

    Viet Nam

     

    (Sources : IBPGR 1986, FAO 1996, Malaurie et al 1998a)
    * in vitro maintenance for production purpose
    1 This country listing is not exhaustive, and take into account only sources in our possession
    2 Countries with in vitro collection (according to sources in our possession)

    Different genebank preservation levels exist. A first group concerns non aseptic germplasm conservation with in field genebank and seed genebank, where important disadvantages and heavy constraint of quarantine measures explain the choice of in vitro germplasm conservation (Hanson, 1986; Malaurie et al., 1998a) (Table 3).

    Table 3. Non aseptic Germplasm Conservation

     

    Non aseptic Genebanks

     

    In field Genebanks

    Seed Genebanks

    Disadvantages

       

    Genetic erosion

    +++

     

    Expensive

    +++

     

    Hard to manage

    +++

     

    Do not bread true

     

    +++

    Tuber shape

     

    +++

    Dormancy

     

    +++

    In vitro conservation

    Three levels of in vitro genebank preservation levels could be considered: 1) short term conservation: this conservation under normal growth conditions is suitable for temporary storage of germplasm collections, and for international distribution, 2) medium term conservation, which could be considered as an active in vitro genebank, 3) long term conservation, considered also as a base in vitro genebank.

    These in vitro genebanks have been previously introduced in vitro from tuber or seed. These introductions have to be linked to an obligatory phytosanitary control from mother plants and from in vitro material after introduction. Medium term conservation, which correspond to in vitro culture under slow growth conditions, could be obtained by several ways: 1) physiological stage of the explant, 2) addition of osmotic agents and growth moderators, 3) low storage temperature, 4) low mineral or sucrose concentrations, 5) low oxygen pressure, 6) encapsulation in alginate (Charrier et al., 1991; Withers, 1991; Engelmann, 1991; Malaurie et al., 1998a).

    Medium-term conservation

    At ORSTOM**, we choose to maintain the in vitro yam collection in a medium with low mineral nutrient and a low sucrose concentration. We succeeded in the introduction and maintenance of 14 species of yam (Malaurie et al., 1993). Since this time, this collection is continuously enriched by new genotypes and comprises 20 species (Table 4).

    For yam, this simple solution of slow growth is used routinely and from these culture conditions a direct acclimatization is possible. This mode of conservation allows an international distribution of the material and corresponds to an active genebank (Malaurie et al. 1993,1998c, Malaurie and Trouslot 1995c).

    This in vitro germplasm collection of yam is maintained in test tubes, at ORSTOM** (Montpellier, France), with a total of 6 test tubes by accession, with two different places of storage for the replicates ; the minimal growth conditions allow to maintain most of the accessions up to 2 years. Technical constraints in the collection management lead to subculture the accessions every 6-8 months (Malaurie et al., 1998c).

    Table 4 . Listing of different species of yam maintained in an in vitro collection,
    under slow growth culture condition *

    (GeneTrop, GAP unit, ORSTOM**, Montpellier, France)

    Species

    Number of accessions

    D. abyssinica Hochst. Ex Kunth

    6

    D. alata L.

    91

    D. bulbifera L.

    8

    D. cayenensis Lamk.

    D. rotundata Poir.

    complex

    63 (+ 17)

    D. burkilliana J. Miège

    11

    D. dumetorum (Kunth) Pax.

    2

    D. esculenta (Lour.) Burk.

    10

    D. hirtiflora Benth.

    1

    D. mangenotiana J. Miège

    15

    D. minutiflora Engl.

    2

    D. opposita Thunb.

    D. japonica Thunb.

    complex

    1

    D. praehensilis Benth.

    17

    D. preussii Pax

    1

    D. sansibarensis Pax

    1

    D. schimperana Hochst. Ex Kunth

    1

    D. smilacifolia De Wild

    2

    D. togoensis Knuth

    8

    D. transversa Br.

    1

    D. trifida L.

    2 (+ 1)

    Interspecific Hybrids: D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex cv. ‘Krengle’ X D. praehensilis

    14

    so-called ‘Igname de Pilimpikou’

    (+ 9)

    * (+ ): Accessions recently introduced

    Different species maintained in the in vitro collection, such as D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex are going to be enriched by cultivars from Burkina Faso for a sanitation program, and from Benin for a genetic program linkeds to virologic aspect. Others species supposed to be links to D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex, such as D. mangenotiana, D. praehensilis, D. minutiflora, or D. abyssinica, D. praehensilis, are going to be enriched by further introduction.

    Orstom** virologists are interested by D. trifida because of its strong sensibility to virus, which provoked in Guadeloupe, French West-Indies, its quite disappearance. Serological and molecular works are developed to explain this virus sensibility.

    Long-term conservation

    Long term conservation correspond to cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen, at –196 °C. Plant cryobiology, which begun in 1971 by Latta works on carrot cell suspension, benefited from results on animals cell by Polge et al in 1949. Since these dates, different techniques have been set up: 1) on one hand, the so-called conventional techniques, using two steps of slow freezing, with the addition of cryo-protector (Sakai, 1984), 2) and on the other hand, new techniques, characterized by a very rapid freezing, about 1000°C/ min, by direct immersion in liquid nitrogen (Table 5) (Dereuddre et al., 1990, 1991; Tannoury et al., 1991; Uragami, 1993). The aim of these techniques is to try to control water flow and ice formation, and tend to a vitrificated state, avoiding crystal formation during thawing, and to protect the cell from thermic shocks.

    Table 5 . Long term conservation : cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen, -196°C

     

    Steps

    Conventional techniques

     

    New techniques

     
       

    Air-drying

    Vitrification

    Encapsulation

    / Dehydration

    Encapsulation

         

    +

    Sucrose pretreatment

    +/-

    +

    (+ABA)

     

    +

    Cryoprotector

    +

     

    ++++

     

    Desiccation

     

    +

     

    +

    Slow-freezing

    +

    0°C to -40°C

    (0.3 to 1°C/min)

         

    Rapid-freezing

    +

    -40°C to -196°C

    (200°C/min)

    +

    +25°C to -196°C

    (720°C/min)

    +

    +25°C to -196°C

    (400 to 1100°C/min)

    +

    +25°C to -196°C

    (720°C/min)

    Thawing

    500°C/min

    120°C/min

    120°C/min

    120°C/min

    Sources : Uragami (1993), Malaurie et al. (1998a).

    Most of the results about cryopreservation have been obtained from conventional techniques on suspension cells of medicinal yam, D. deltoidea being the most used ( Butenko et al., 1984; Popov and Fedorovskii, 1992; Popov and Volkova, 1994). More recent works have been done on rapid cryopreservation of callus (Chulafich et al., 1994), by direct immersion in liquid nitrogen, of two other medicinal yams (D. balcanica, D. caucasica).

    Since 1996, new results have been obtained by two different research teams, using encapsulation/dehydration of shoot apices. On the one hand, Mandal et al. (1996) compared the survival capacities of apices after the osmotic and thermic stress of the technique of four species of yam - three edible (D. alata, D. bulbifera, D. wallichii), and one medicinal (D. floribunda). Four of them have survived after immersion in liquid nitrogen, with 26 to 71%, depending on the species. Meanwhile, only two of them (D. alata, D. wallichii) allowed the recovery into shoots after immersion in liquid nitrogen, with 21 and 37%, respectively.

    On the other hand, ORSTOM** ability in different aspects of the long term conservation on tropical plants (Engelmann, 1991), and on encapsulation/dehydration technique applied on coffee, cassava, oil palm...etc, permitted to apply the process on apical shoot-tips of in vitro plantlets of yam (Malaurie and Trouslot 1996). Malaurie et al. (1998b) obtained survival rates over 50% for the two species (D. alata, D. bulbifera), and recovery to rooted leafy shoots after immersion in liquid nitrogen of at least 60% for D. bulbifera and 20% for D. alata, three months culture after thawing.

    Comparatively to previous works on cryopreservation using encapsulation/dehydration technique, Malaurie et al. (1998b) have used higher sucrose concentration (0.9, 1.0 and 1.1M), a wider range of dehydration duration, up to 23h and a new and more accurate method for measuring of dry weight.

    The new and more accurate method for measuring of dry weight used in our experiments consisted of desiccating alginate beads for 30d in airtight boxes containing dry silica gel, to avoid mass loss due to caramelization of sugar when drying at a temperature higher than 100°C. We obtained a strong linear correlation between dry mass (DW30) and sucrose molarity for sucrose-pretreated alginate beads. During the whole experiment, we used DW30 values estimated by linear regression (Table 6).

     

    Table 6. Dry mass and water content of sucrose-pretreated alginate beads, determined after 30d of drying with silica gel in airtight boxes at room temperature (1)

    Sucrose concentration

    DW30 (% FW) estimated by linear regression (2)

    Water content before dehydration (g.g-1 DW)

    0.75M

    28.8

    2.47

    0.9M

    33.3

    2.00

    1.0M

    36.3

    1.76

    1.1M

    39.3

    1.54



    (1)Source: Malaurie et al. (1998b)
    (2)From mean values over 13 to 15 replicates for each of the four sucrose concentrations

    (y= 6.4319 + 29.872x; N= 4; r= 0.999). Similar results were obtained from replicate data
    (y= 6.4177 + 29.883x; N= 55; r= 0.960). Data not shown.


    Figure 1

    For the best sucrose pretreatments depending species, Figure 1(source: Malaurie et al., 1998b) shows that D. bulbifera still has high survival with high sucrose concentration and after long duration dehydration (up to 23h). For the two species, the water content of encapsulated apices had to be decreased down to 0.15g H2O g-1 DW in order to obtain high survival after freezing. The percentage of water loss was of 67, 62, 58 and 55% FW (± 1%) for 0.75, 0.9, 1 and 1.1M sucrose pretreatments, respectively. Our results demonstrated that, in most cases, survival increased when dehydration was extended to a defined threshold, around 0.13-0.15g. H2O g-1 DW, which was obtained after desiccation periods from 10 to 18h. It seemed that, with this soft dessication process, we could rub out differences in residual water-free, which certainly exist between apices from a same plot.

     

    Indexation and disease-free germplasm production

    Indexation

    In vitro germplasm conservation presents different advantages such as: 1) to be free from genetic erosion, 2) to have the possibility for the establishment of core collection with long term genebanks, 3) to be free from fungis and bacteria, 4) to be not expensive, when in vitro facilities are already present, 5) easy and convenient for international distribution. But International exchanges need more for safe international exchange. We need to know the plant material on genetic level, and over all on the phytosanitary level. On the phytosanitary level, various viruses have been described on edible and medicinal yams on their production area. Different works, depending virus and virus group, are reported (Table 7). Indexing techniques allow to highlight a certain number of viruses on yam: Poty, potex, badna and cucumo-viruses, where yam mosaic virus (YMV) provokes the most important loss.

    Table 7. Viruses of yam: group and type viruses, yam species affected and reference works

    Virus Group

    Virus

    Yam species affected

    Geographic spreading

    Disease importance

    Authors

    Cucumovirus

    CMV

    D. alata,

    D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex, D. trifida

    Caribbean and West-Africa

    -

    Migliori, 1977; Fauquet and Thouvenel, 1987

               

    ‘Carlavirus’ cf.

    ChYNMV

    (Chinese yam necrotic mosaic virus)

    D. batatas

    Japan

    -

    Fukomoto and Tochihara, 1978; Shirako and Ehara, 1986

               

    Badnavirus

    DBV

    (Dioscorea bacilliform badnavirus)

    D. alata

    Barbade

    +/-

    Mantell and Haque, 1978

     

    DaBV

    (D. alata bacilliform virus)

       

    -

    Degras, 1986

     

    DbBV

    (D. bulbifera bacilliform virus)

       

    -

    Degras, 1986

               

    Potexvirus

    DLV

    (Dioscorea latent virus)

    D. floribunda

    D. composita

    Puerto Rico

    -

    Hearon et al., 1978; Phillips and Brunt 1988; Watterworth et al., 1974

     

    PVX

    (Potato virus X)

     

    In vitro collection

    -

    Urbino et al.,1998

               

    Potyvirus

    YMV

    (yam mosaic virus)

    D. alata, D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex,

    All the intertropical area

    +++

    Thouvenel and Fauquet, 1979;Goudou-Urbino,1995;Goudou-Urbino et al. 1996 a,b)

     

    YMMV 1

    (yam mild mosaic virus)

    D. alata, D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex,

    West-Africa

    +++

    Mumford and Seal, 1997

     

    D. trifida virus 2

    D. trifida

    Guadeloupe

    +++

    Migliori, 1977

     

    DGBMV 2

    (Dioscorea green banding mosaic virus)

     

    Togo

    ++

    Porth and Nienhaus, 1983

     

    DaRMV 3

    (D. alata ring mottle virus)

    D. alata

    Togo

    ++

    Porth and Nienhaus, 1983

               
     

    DaV 4

    (D. alata virus)

    D. alata

    D. rotundata

    Togo

    +

    Reckhaus and Nienhaus, 1981

     

    D. dumetorum potyvirus

     

    South-Pacific

    -

    Mumford and Seal, 1997

     

    D. esculenta potyvirus

     

    South-Pacific

    -

    Mumford and Seal, 1997

     

    DGBV (Dioscorea greenbanding potyvirus)

    D. composita

    D. floribunda

    Puerto Rico

    -

    Hearon et al., 1978;

    Phillips et al., 1986

     

    PVY

    (Potato virus Y)

     

    In vitro collection

     

    Urbino et al., 1998

    1 YMMV: is it a new potyvirus or a strain of the YMV ?
    2 D. trifida virus and DGBMV have been shown as YMV strains (Porth et al.,1987)
    3 DaRMV should be a ‘yam strain’ of the beet mosaic potyvirus transmissible on N. benthamiana (Porth et al.,1987)
    4 DaV is serologically links toYMV but differ by is non-transmissibility (Porth et al.,1987)

    During the establishment of the yam in vitro germplasm collection, in the biotechnology laboratory of ORSTOM** (Malaurie et al., 1993), afterwards IIRSDA - Adiopodoumé research station, near Abidjan, Ivory Coast - clones were systematically indexed by ELISA directed to YMV, when introduced in vitro (Malaurie and Thouvenel, 1988; Malaurie et al., 1988a,b; Charrier and Hamon, 1991).

    Later on, one indexation was carried out by a virologist team on the duplicate of the yam in vitro germplasm collection enriched by introduction of new genotypes. 92 samples, belonging to several yam species, were used for the indexation : D. alata, D. bulbifera, D. cayenensis- rotundata complex, D. dumetorum, D. esculenta, D. mangenotiana, D. praehensilis, D. shimperiana, D. togoensis, D. trifida. These samples were originating from various geographic areas: Africa, Caribbean, South America and Asia. Four viruses were fetched by ELISA technique: PVX (potato virus X, potexvirus) PVY (potato virus Y, potyvirus), CMV (cucumber mosaic cucumovirus), and YMV (Urbino et al. 1998). Results are presented in Table 8.

    Table 8. Indexation of the ORSTOM** in vitro yam collection

    ELISA results

    PVX

    PVY

    CMV

    YMV

    % Positives

    5,5

    6,3

    2,1

    7,7

    % Negatives

    94,5

    93,7

    97,9

    92,3

    Source: Urbino et al. (1998)

    This study allowed to show that detection of viruses serologically linked to PVX and to PVY, in different yam species, was possible, even with the same frequencies than with YMV. Further works have to be done for a precise caracterization of these virus isolates, and check their respective importance in natural environement. Experiments using more sophisticated techniques for virus diagnostic (IC/rt/PCR) are developed (Bousalem, 1995). Yam on molecular caracterization and molecular diversity on potyvirus of the yam mosaic virus (YMV) have been developed on the ILTAB/ORSTOM**-TSRI laboratories (Aleman, 1996; Aleman et al 1996a,b) and from the LPRC laboratory (Bousalem, 1995; Urbino et al., 1998).

    Virus eradication techniques

    The use of in vitro techniques allows to be free from fungis, bacteria, and other pests. Only viruses could be present on the plant and have to be eradicated. Different techniques exist and are already applied on yam. There are meristem culture, thermotherapy and/ or chemotherapy (36°C during 1 to 2 weeks on in vivo or in vitro plants, use of chemicals such as vidarabine, ribavirin and 2-thiouracil). They could be used alone or associated (Table 9).

     

    Table 9 . Yam disease eradication techniques

     

    Eradication techniques

    Species

    Authors

    Type of use*

    Virus eradication

     

     

     

    (A)

     

     

     

    meristem culture

     

     

    D. cayenensis-rotundata,

    D. japonica, D. opposita,

    D. praehensilis,

    D. rotundata, D. trifida, Dioscorea spp.

    Cortes Monllor et al., 1982; Kobayashi 1991; Malaurie et al 1988a,b, 1992, 1995a,b; Malaurie and Thouvenel, 1988; Matsubaru and Ishira, 1988; Mikami ,1984; Saleil et al., 1990;

     

     

     

    E

     

     

     

    + / -

               

    (B)

    Thermotherapy in vivo + meristems culture

     

    D. alata

    Mantell et al 1980

    E

    +

    (C)

    Nodal microcutting or apices + Thermotherapy

    D. alata, D. trifida

    Balagne 1985; Salazar and Fernanadez, 1988

    E, R (+ / -)

    +

               

    (D)

    Nodal microcutting + Chemotherapy

    D. alata

    Mantell ,1993

    E, R (+ / -)

    +

    (E)

    Nodal microcutting + Thermotherapy &/or Chemotherapy

    D. praehensilis

    Malaurie, unpublished results

    E

    + / -

    (F)

    Meristem culture + Thermotherapy &/or Chemotherapy

    D. cayenensis-rotundata,

    D. praehensilis

    Malaurie, unpublished results

    E

    + / -

    * E: experimental use; R: routine use

    Success in meristem culture depends on the size and location of the explant excised, and on the growth regulator ratio. ‘Meristem culture’, on Table 9, concerns works using meristem-tips (0.2-0.5 mm long) as well as shoot-tips (0.6-2.5 mm long). Experiments on viability and in vitro morphological development of meristem-tips of two sizes, ‘small’ (0.3-0.5 mm) and ‘large’ (0.6-0.8 mm), have shown that it was better to use large meristem size to increase the shoot elongation percentage. The use of axillary or apical meristems did not induce difference and should allow an important yield in micropropagating such material from excised meristem-tips. Eleven months after meristem excision, production of plantlets was observed with a rate of 82% and 39% from the survivors, for a clone of D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex and D. praehensilis genotype, respectively (Malaurie et al., 1995a,b).

    Meristem cultures have been done on 8 clones of 5 Dioscorea species belonging to the in vitro germplasm collection. Morphological development has been observed and data were recorded 60 days after meristem inoculation. In our case, the production of rooted leafy shoots, 60 days after meristem inoculation, occurred in five clones out of eight, with percentage shoot leaf production of 5 to 26 %, depending on the clone. Six months later, the excised meristems of all clones developed into rooted leafy shoots, where D. bulbifera, and D. dumetorum was not, to our knowledge, mentioned in the literature (Table 10).

     

    Table 10. Genotypic effect on morphogenetic orientation

    2 months after meristem excision of Dioscorea spp *

     

    Total meristems observed

    Necrosis 1)

    %

     

     

    Organogenesis 2)

    %

     

     

    Regeneration 3)

    %

     

    D. alata

    67

    27

     

    55

     

    18

     

    D. bulbifera

    252

    46

     

    37

     

    18

     

    D. bulbifera

    146

    52

     

    48

     

    0

     

    D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex

    23

    65

     

    35

     

    0

     

    D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex

    81

    24

     

    51

     

    26

     

    D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex

    81

    26

     

    54

     

    20

     

    D. dumetorum

    24

    83

     

    17

     

    0

     

    D. praehensilis

    117

    41

    54

    5

    1) Necrosis. 2) Organogenesis: callusing, rooting, swelling were added together, 3) Regeneration: meristem development into rooted leafy shoots and axillary bud development or bud neoformation.

    *(Malaurie, unpublished results)

    Works about production of virus-free in vitro plants of yam through yam meristem culture alone are very rare. Saleil et al. (1990) on D. trifida obtained YMV-free plants, after ELISA indexation with a 27% rate through the total indexed plants. Nevertheless, other unpublished results on 2 genotypes YMV-infected of 2 species (D. cayenensis- D. rotundata complex, D. praehensilis) showed that meristem culture allowed the production of virus-free plants with 76% and 17% plants indexed, respectively (Malaurie, unpublished results).

    Production of virus-free in vitro plants of yam has been attempted through thermotherapy, chemotherapy associated or not, from in vivo mother plants, nodal cuttings or apices (Balagne, 1985; Mantell, 1993; Mantell et al., 1980; Salazar and Fernandez, 1988). None of them described clearly the percentage of virus-free plants obtained through these techniques. Meanwhile, the production of plantlets free from virus is described by Mantell (1993) on D. alata cv. Kinabayo, after the action of antiviral agents (vidarabin, ribavirin) on nodal microcuttings infected by a potyvirus. The production of virus-free plants have been obtained 210 days after in vitro inoculation, after 3 subcultures of 60, 120 and 30 days on a liquid/solid biphasic cuture system with 10-5 M of antiviral agent.

    Other available techniques could be electrotherapy used on potato, with 60 to 100% success as compared to 25-40% with thermotherapy (Lozoya-Saldaña et al., 1996; Bernal et al., 1998), or apex micrografting, used on Lemon tree or vine, routinely.

    If different works have already been done on yam sanitation, only a few of them conducted to an eradication of virus with more or less importance.

    Safe international exchange

    Exchange and distribution of plant material could be done by two ways: 1) with non aseptic plant material (tubers, aerial tubers, seeds, nodal cuttings from the vine), 2) with plant material in aseptic conditions (micro-nodal cuttings, microtubers, aerial microtubers, apices, zygotic or somatic embryos, callus and cells suspension).

    Exchange in non-aseptic conditions was used in the past, but required severe quarantine measures. Since 1989, with the FAO/IBPGR technical guidelines for the safe movement of yam germplasm, recommendation has been given to use in vitro conditions for exchange and distribution. For that, safe movement of yam germplasm could be done easily by three ways: 1) micro-nodal cuttings, 2) micro-tubers, 3) or encapsulated apices.

    Safe movement of yam germplasm by micro-nodal cuttings is the most common way and has been frequently used (Malaurie et al., 1998a). In Table 11, the use of laboratories with in vitro and quarantine facilities allowed the indexation, in vitro introduction and micropropagation for a safe diffusion of various genotypes from different geographical origin.

    Table 11. Enrichment of the genetic diversity of a country by transfer and introduction

    of in vitro yam genotypes from different geographic origins*

    Species

    Number of accession

    Sending countries

    Receiving countries

    D. alata

    6

    Côte d’Ivoire

    Nouvelle Calédonie

    D. alata

    5

    West Indies

    Nouvelle Calédonie

    D. alata

    1

    Brazil

    Nouvelle Calédonie

    D. alata

    5

    West Indies

    Côte d’Ivoire

    D. alata

    3

    Nouvelle Calédonie

    Côte d’Ivoire

    D. alata

    3

    Brazil

    Côte d’Ivoire

    D. bulbifera

    1

    Nouvelle Calédonie

    Côte d’Ivoire

    D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex

    4

    Côte d’Ivoire

    Nouvelle Calédonie

    D. cayenensis-D. rotundata complex

    1

    Brazil

    Côte d’Ivoire

    * All plant material from the sending countries were, at first, tubers sent to laboratories with quarantine and in vitro culture facilities (1988-89: Orstom** & Iirsda, Adiopodoumé, Côte d’Ivoire; 1992-95: Orstom**, LRGAPT, Montpellier) for their in vitro introduction and micropropagation, preliminary to all safe international exchange.

    Tuber potentiality shown by a great number of in vitro yams (aerial and basal micro-tubers) could be also used for a safe transfer of yam germplasm. They could increase the percentage of success during their acclimatation in field (John et al.,1993; Malaurie et al., 1993; Mantell, 1993; Ng, 1988; Ng and Mantell, 1997). These tubers developed in vitro are dormant at maturity and they still keep their dormancy from 2 to 5 months, as tubers developed in vivo.

    Recently a new method, experimented over three yam species (D. alata, D. opposita, D. rotundata), has been proposed by Hasan and Takagi (1995). They use encapsulation technique, with the embeddment of nodal cuttings in alginate beads, for a concept of a material transfer. This process allow to maintain in the dark for at least 2 weeks. These 2 weeks in the dark allow to envisage a safe and easy international exchange of genetic resources.

    Concluding remarks

    This paper tries to describe different studies done and to be done on yam in vitro germplasm conservation and its safe international exchange. Yam in vitro culture contributes to the safeguard of the biodiversity of the genus Dioscorea. An application of the results obtained on cryopreservation to more species should allow a transfer of technology. The use of new techniques, in a one hand, for pathogen eradication (electrotherapy, micrografting), in addition to the existent ones, and in the other hand, for the obtention of plants resistant to somes viruses (transformation), should guarantee to yam a state of virus-free plant and allow international exchanges, and in long term, distribution to the farmer of cultivar free from virus.

    To conclude we can say that we are already able to manage routinely yam in vitro genebanks in slow growth culture, to index for more viruses, and to produce some virus-free in vitro plantlets.

    For an efficient distribution - transfer - utilisation of yam germplasm, we should develop: 1) virus-free germplasm, 2) restricted size collection, with large diversity, so-called core-collections. For that, in vitro conservation under slow growth condition and cryopreservation, have to be applied routinely to more genotypes; virus-indexing has to be done with more precise techniques (rt/PCR); therapy has to be done with several combined techniques to become genotype independant.

    But, we should not forget, as previously said by Hanson (1986), that, for a better security of germplasm conservation, different methods of conservation have to be combined (in situ - Field Genebanks - , ex situ - Seed Genebanks, in vitro Genebanks).

    References
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