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Factors Controlling Stolon Development in the Potato Plant

D. Kumar and P. F. Wareing
The New Phytologist
Vol. 71, No. 4 (Jul., 1972), pp. 639-648
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2434713
Page Count: 12
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Factors Controlling Stolon Development in the Potato Plant
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Abstract

The development of the basal axillary shoots of Solanum andigena as stolons is dependent upon their being subject to apical dominance. Normally, stolons develop only from axillaries located below the soil surface and it is shown that darkness and a moist atmosphere favour stolon emergence. However, all axillaries subject to apical dominance are potentially capable of emerging as stolons, as shown by the fact that maintaining the axillaries of aerial shoots under conditions of darkness and humidity by 'aerial layering' results in their emergence as stolons. In rooted stem cuttings, basal axillaries not subject to apical dominance grow as leafy shoots, but if the roots are removed they develop as stolons. Thus, axillary shoots not subject to apical dominance are converted from stolons into leafy shoots by some influence of the roots. Axillaries in the aerial part of the shoot may be stimulated to grow out as stolons by applying gibberellic acid to the stem. The role of indole acetic acid (IAA) in stolon development appears to be related to its effects on apical dominance. It is shown that application of the cytokinins, kinetin and benzylamino purine to the tips of stolons (both natural and experimentally induced) causes them to develop into upwardly directed leafy shoots. The development of an axillary into a leafy shoot or a stolon can be experimentally regulated by manipulation of the levels of applied gibberellin, IAA and cytokinin, stolon development requiring high gibberellin and low cytokinin levels. It is suggested that normal stolon development is regulated by interaction between endogenous hormones, and it is postulated that the apical dominance necessary for stolon development involves the monopolization of cytokinins produced in the roots by the main apex, so that only low cytokinin levels are available to the axillary shoots. The effect of darkness on stolon emergence may be mediated through increased endogenous gibberellin levels.

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