Potato, somaclonal variation, interspecific hybridisation, somatic hybridisation and

Potato, (Solanum
tuberosum L.).an economically important crop species and the focus of a
large agricultural industry. Also, Potato is a model organism for genetic,
developmental, and physiological research. Potato is among the most widely
consumed vegetables in the world, and many of the compounds found in potatoes
have received much interest in recent years for their potential health
benefits. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the starchy, tuberous crop of
solanaceae family and the world fourth largest food crop after rice, wheat and
corn (Bajaj,1987).

 Plants are subjected to various abiotic
stresses such as low temperature, salt, drought, floods, heat, oxidative stress
and heavy metal toxicity during their life cycle. Among all this, salinity is
the most typical abiotic stress (Mahajan and Tuteja 2005). Salinity has
negative impact on agricultural productivity affecting plant growth and
restricting the use of land. It is estimated that 6% of the world’s total land
and 20% of the world’s irrigated areas are affected by salinity (Unesco
Water Portal 2007).

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Potato plant
growth and development are adversely affected by salinity, which is a major
environmental stress that limits agricultural production.

In the past,
conventional breeding methods developed various crop species with improved
environmental stress tolerance (Cullins, 1991). However, breeding
progress and crop improvement are time consuming and labour intensive. Novel
breeding methods such as somaclonal variation, interspecific hybridisation,
somatic

hybridisation
and gene transformation provide potential for improvement in important
characters required in many cultivated varieties.

Recently, much
research has focused on stress induced gene expression, which is thought to be
an important indicator for the discovery of new genes responding to various
plant stresses (Wang et al., 2003).
more studies were conducted on finding the reasons behind drought and salt
tolerance, and specific genes and transcription factors identified and
transferred into the genomes of susceptible crops for drought and/or salt
tolerance.

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