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Extreme salinity as a challenge to grow potatoes under Mars-like soil conditions: targeting promising genotypes

  • David A. Ramírez (a1) (a2) (a3), Jan Kreuze (a1), Walter Amoros (a1), Julio E. Valdivia-Silva (a4) (a5), Joel Ranck (a1), Sady Garcia (a2), Elisa Salas (a1) and Wendy Yactayo (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract

One of the future challenges to produce food in a Mars environment will be the optimization of resources through the potential use of the Martian substratum for growing crops as a part of bioregenerative food systems. In vitro plantlets from 65 potato genotypes were rooted in peat-pellets substratum and transplanted in pots filled with Mars-like soil from La Joya desert in Southern Peru. The Mars-like soil was characterized by extreme salinity (an electric conductivity of 19.3 and 52.6 dS m−1 under 1 : 1 and saturation extract of the soil solution, respectively) and plants grown in it were under sub-optimum physiological status indicated by average maximum stomatal conductance <50 mmol H2O m−2 s−1 even after irrigation. 40% of the genotypes survived and yielded (0.3–5.2 g tuber plant−1) where CIP.397099.4, CIP.396311.1 and CIP.390478.9 were targeted as promising materials with 9.3, 8.9 and 5.8% of fresh tuber yield in relation to the control conditions. A combination of appropriate genotypes and soil management will be crucial to withstand extreme salinity, a problem also important in agriculture on Earth that requires more detailed follow-up studies.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
Corresponding author
e-mail: d.ramirez@cgiar.org
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Current Address: Penn State University, 428 Thomas Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

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International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
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