The PANDA experiment will be built at the FAIR facility at Darmstadt (Germany) to perform accurate tests of the strong interaction through pp and pA annihilation's studies. To track charged particles, two systems consisting of a set of planar, closed-packed, self-supporting straw tube layers are under construction. The PANDA straw tubes will have also unique characteristics in term of material budget and performance. They consist of very thin mylar-aluminized cathodes which are made self-supporting by means of the operation gas-mixture over-pressure. This solution allows to reduce at maximum the weight of the mechanical support frame and hence the detector material budget. The PANDA straw tube central tracker will not only reconstruct charged particle trajectories, but also will help in low momentum (< 1 GeV) particle identification via dE/dx measurements. This is a quite new approach that PANDA tracking group has first tested with detailed Monte Carlo simulations, and then with experimental tests of detector prototypes. This paper addresses the design issues of the PANDA straw tube trackers and the performance obtained in prototype tests.