In vitro conservation and sustained production of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): modern technologies for a traditional tropical crop
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- Murch, S.J., Ragone, D., Shi, W.L. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2008) 95: 99. doi:10.1007/s00114-007-0295-2
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Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) is a traditionally cultivated, high-energy, high-yield crop, but widespread use of the plant for food is limited by poor quality and poor storage properties of the fruit. A unique field genebank of breadfruit species and cultivars exists at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hawaiian Islands and is an important global resource for conservation and sustainable use of breadfruit. However, this plant collection could be damaged by a random natural disaster such as a hurricane. We have developed a highly efficient in vitro plant propagation system to maintain, conserve, mass propagate, and distribute elite varieties of this important tree species. Mature axillary shoot buds were collected from three different cultivars of breadfruit and proliferated using a cytokinin-supplemented medium. The multiple shoots were maintained as stock cultures and repeatedly used to develop whole plants after root differentiation on a basal or an auxin-containing medium. The plantlets were successfully grown under greenhouse conditions and were reused to initiate additional shoot cultures for sustained production of plants. Flow cytometry was used to determine the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid content and the ploidy status of the in vitro grown population. The efficacy of the micropropagation protocols developed in this study represents a significant advancement in the conservation and sustained mass propagation of breadfruit germplasm in a controlled environment free from contamination.
KeywordsBreadfruitArtocarpus altilisMicropropagationTemporary immersion bioreactorGermplasm conservation