Print ISSN 1726-2216
MANSILLA, Roberto, LOPEZ, César, FLORES, Mercedes et al. Reproductive biology study in five accessions of Smallanthus sonchifolius (Poepp. & Endl.) Robinson. Ecol. apl., July/Dec. 2010, vol.9, no.2, p.167-175. ISSN 1726-2216.
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a root tuber plant belonging to the botanical family Asteraceae. Recently, it has gained interest for its medicinal and economic importance. It is used as a functional food for its content of fructo-oligosaccharides. A major constraint facing genetic breeding of this crop is its low sexual reproductive capacity. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the floral and reproductive biology of five accessions of yacon in Huanuco. In this work, we observed that flowering time was similar among the accessions and it took eight weeks to reach flowering. This feature and the asynchronous formation of the capitulum in the plant would encourage cross-pollination. The plant reproductive ability is different among accessions, due to quantitative trait variation in floral structures and differences in the percentage of achenes with seeds. Taking into account its pollination habits, we consider that it is an insect dependant plant, as evident from insect attraction by the ray floret, the high frequency of visits and insect behavior. The high receptivity of the stigmas present during inflorescence development, contrasts with poor in vitro germination of pollen, few achenes with seeds and low seed viability. These aspects could be related to the presence of a 202 bp DNA fragment, amplified with primers for orfH522 gene associated with male sterility in Helianthus annuus.
Keywords: yacón; male sterility.
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