Journal Article

Development of Potato Minitubers in Microgravity

Elizabeth Kordyum, Valentina Baranenko, Elena Nedukha and Vladimir Samoilov

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 38, issue 10, pages 1111-1117
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Development of Potato Minitubers in Microgravity

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Stem segments of aseptically grown potato {Solatium tuberosum L. cv. Zarevo) were cultivated for 4 weeks under laboratory conditions and were then grown for 8 d on board the “Mir” orbital space station. Timing was such that minitubers initiated and developed during the 8 d on the “Mir”. Under space flight and stationary conditions, spherical minitubers were formed with no statistically significant differences in either the frequency of tuber formation or tuber size. These observations are the first to document the formation of vegetative reproductive organs and of well developed amylogenic storage tissue during the microgravity conditions of orbital space flight. In these minitubers, a majority of the starch was stored in parenchyma, with numerous amyloplasts per cell. In space flight tissue, however, grain size of starch was decreased and lamellae within the amyloplasts was locally enlarged. Furthermore, mitochondria of these tissues were characterized by increased matrix density and well developed cristae.

Keywords: Microgravity; Minituber; Potato; Storage parenchyma; Ultrastructure

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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