Differential cytokinin effects on the stimulation of in vitro shoot proliferation from meristematic explants of castor (Ricinus communis L.)
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A highly efficient and reproducible method of in vitro propagation using meristematic explants has been developed for castor. Embryo axes and shoot tips were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.5–10.0 mg/l of adenine, N6-benzyladenine (BA), kinetin (Kn), thiadiazuron (TDZ) and zeatin. TDZ (1.0–10.0 mg/l) gave the maximum number of shoots (37.8–40.0) from embryo axes, while BA (2.0 mg/l) was found superior to other cytokinins for obtaining the highest number of shoots (46.7) from the shoot apex. Adenine and Kn at all of the tested concentrations resulted in low proliferation rates from embryo axes. The carryover effect of the cytokinins was tested by subculturing proliferating shoot cultures from various media onto the medium fortified with 0.5 mg/l BA. There was no significant influence of the cytokinins on subsequent proliferation from the two explant types except for TDZ with embryo axes. The number of shoots from TDZ-habituated embryo axes ranged between 36.0 and 81.7, while it varied from 5.7 to 22.0 and 3.7 to 28.3 in axillary buds and embryo axes, respectively, on the other media. For elongation of shoots, gibberellic acid (GA3) (0.1–1.0 mg/l) was added to the medium supplemented with 0.2–0.5 mg/l BA. Incorporation of GA3 (0.1 mg/l) significantly enhanced the frequency of elongated shoots but drastically reduced the multiplication ability. Hence, proliferating shoot clusters were periodically transferred to the medium supplemented with 0.5 and 0.2 mg/l BA for further multiplication and elongation. Well-developed shoots were rooted on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l indole-3-butyric acid. The rooted plantlets were acclimatized with more than 60% success.
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