Monday, 17 May 2010

Yacon Doubletake

Okay, so this is not about Oca. I am growing yacon again this year to try as a bi-crop with Oca, and as I was watering yesterday, I noticed one yacon plant that was different:
On the left is a normal yacon, with two leaves at each leaf node. On the right - the strange plant, with three leaves on each node. The leaves on adjacent nodes are rotated by 60ยบ relative to each other, so I believe that makes it a decussate whorled pattern.
The plant has grown from a propagule consisting of about three little tubers, and only one of these has produced the non-standard leaf pattern, so it looks like the parent plant was normal, and the mutation has occurred in the replant tuber.





The plant is the most vigorous of all that I have, and the stem in question is the most vigorous on the plant.



The root system is strong and healthy. Perhaps this will be a yacon with 50% extra.

Update 4/9/10. The stem is flowering now.
With side shoots reverting back to two leaves per node, it seems I'm not going to be able to perpetuate this variant. But I'll keep the replant tubers that form at its base this autumn, and check them when they re-grow, just in case...

Update 28/3/11. Saved tubers killed by heavy frost during the winter.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting. Sometimes you see seedlings of various plants with three cotyledons; normally the true leaves come out in pairs afterwards. Could be some sort of somaclonal mutation - I've not heard of this in yacon before.

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  2. Drat! I assumed it would come true from vegetative propagation, and was planning to root up a side shoot. But side shoots just coming are the standard leaf pattern.

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