Periclinal chimera technique: new plant breeding approach
Plant interspecific periclinal chimeras are a mosaic formed by tissues from two species. They are manipulated here as an efficient plant breeding tool for cassava root yields. In this study, plants synthesized from two chimeras, designated as chimera 2 and chimera 4, were characterized morphologically and cytologically to unravel the origin of their tissue layers (L2 and L3). Root yield of the two chimeras was also evaluated. Chimera 2 that was developed from graft union between Manihot fortalezensis (F) as scion and M. esculenta (E) as rootstock and the same in chimera 4 was developed from grafting triploid cassava cultivar (2n = 54) (C) as scion and M. pohlii (P) (2n = 36) as rootstock. A new method of inducing interspecific chimeras without using hormones was also tested in this study. Five combinations between four cassava cultivars on one side and M. fortalezensis and an interspecific hybrid (M. glaziovii x M. esculenta) on the other side were experimented to determine compatibility between the parents. Wild species always gave L2 and L3, independent of being used as rootstock or scion. L3 is responsible for producing pericycle. Thus, its performance was different in each chimera due to specific epigenetic interaction. Of 48 grafts, it was obtained one chimera giving a percentage of 2.1% that is little lower than using hormones but much efficient to use. Chimera induction efficiency in this investigation was the same when using hormones. Thus, our new, less labor, and more cost-effective technique is as much efficient as hormones and is much potential to employ as an effective plant breeding method boosting cassava root yield.