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Variations in morphology and disease susceptibility of micropropagated rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) PC49, compared to conventional plants


Variation in morphological traits and increased disease susceptibility were observed in micropropagated plants of rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum L.), PC49. Our investigations have demonstrated that micropropagated plants can vary substantially in morphological traits and the variation of quantitative traits was substantially greater than conventionally propagated plants. Micropropagated plants produced significantly more leaves than conventional plants under the same growth period, with a more bushy growth habit and/or recumbence. A higher incidence of disease (petiole spotting) was also observed in micropropagated plants. It is concluded that micropropagated PC49 had substantially higher incidence of somaclonal variation and regenerants were not suitable to establish an economic crop comparable to the conventional plants.

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Correspondence to Yipeng Zhao.

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Zhao, Y., Grout, B.W.W. & Crisp, P. Variations in morphology and disease susceptibility of micropropagated rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) PC49, compared to conventional plants. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 82, 357–361 (2005).

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  • crop growth
  • disease susceptibility
  • micropropagation
  • rhubarb
  • variation