In vitro induction of tetraploids in Arachis paraguariensis
In this study, an efficient procedure was established for successful induction of tetraploid Arachis paraguariensis by treating diploid explants with colchicine. Quartered-seed, callus and shoot-tips were treated with colchicine at concentrations of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.5 % (w/v) for 4, 8, 16, 20 and 24 h before they were transferred unto modified Murashige and Skoog medium for either callus induction or shoot regeneration. Results showed that quartered-seed displayed the highest frequency of in vitro plantlet regeneration and tetraploid induction, as well as the lowest mortality rate. Flow cytometric analysis also confirmed that the induced tetraploids from quartered-seed were true-to-type. The 0.5 % colchicine treatment for 4 to 8 h gave the best results with 39 and 43 % of the explants yielding tetraploid plants, respectively. Two months following transfer to ex vitro environment, morphological and growth characteristics of the induced tetraploids were measured. Overall, increasing the ploidy level from 2× to 4× resulted in fewer stomata but more trichomes per unit leaf area. Tetraploid plants obtained in this study should expand the genetic base of Arachis, and can also be used in overcoming the existing hybridization barriers that may be due to ploidy differences within the genus Arachis.