Dioscorea zingiberensis is an important medicinal plant and a source of diosgenin in China. We report research on the induction, characteristics, and chemical assays of polyploid plants of D. zingiberensis. Immersing calli in 0.3% colchicine solution for 16 h prior to culture induced a high number of autotetraploid plants. The induction rate reached as high as 36.7% of treated calli. More than 50 lines of autotetraploid plants were obtained. All tetraploid plants showed typical polyploidy characteristics. Twenty selected tetraploid lines were transferred to the field for determination of morphological characteristics and for chemical assays. Six elite lines have been selected for further selection and breeding into new varieties for commercial production.
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Vol. 44 • No. 5