, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 253-260

Genetically stable regeneration of apple plants from slow growth

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Shoot-tips of apple cultivar `Gala' were stored in vitrousing a low temperature slow-growth culture method. All shoot-tips survived 1-year storage, with a significant height increment over that period. Eight `Gala' single-bud sibling lines were established for genetic analysis. Although cytological examination detected chromosomal variation in plants recovered from slow growth culture, the ploidy remained genetically stable relative to the before-storage cultures. An amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) assay was performed to detect DNA sequence variation. No differences in the DNA fragment patterns were observed using 20 primer combinations between the before-storage and the stored samples. In addition, a methylation sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) assay was performed to investigate the DNA methylation status in both the before-storage and stored samples. It was found that the slow-growth storage resulted in a significant DNA methylation change in the stored shoots compared with the before-storage samples.