Plant periclinal chimeras are genotypic mosaics arranged concentrically. Trials to produce them to combine different species have been done, but pratical results have not been achieved. We report for the second time the development of a very productive interspecific periclinal chimera in cassava. It has very large edible roots up to 14 kg per plant at one year old compared to 2-3 kg in common varieties. The epidermal tissue formed was from Manihot esculenta cultivar UnB 032, and the subepidermal and internal tissue from the wild species, Manihot fortalezensis.
An anatomical study of roots was conducted on two wild Manihot species, namely M. glaziovii and M. fortalezensis, and two cassava varieties, M. esculenta Crantz variety UnB 201 and M. esculenta variety UnB 122, to identify taxonomic differences in primary growth. Anatomical characters of cassava roots have been rarely investigated. Their study may help cassava breeders to identify varieties with economically important characters, such as tolerance to drought.
Cassava rootstocks of varieties UnB 201 and UnB 122 grafted with scions of Manihot fortalezensis were prepared for anatomic study. The roots were cut, stained with safranin and alcian blue, and examined microscopically, comparing them with sections taken from ungrafted roots. There was a significant decrease in number of pericyclic fibers, vascular vessels and tyloses in rootstocks. They exhibited significant larger vessels. These changes in anatomic structure are a consequence of genetic effects caused by transference of genetic material from scion to rootstock.