Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 15–23 | Cite as

Optimizing the micropropagation protocol for the endangered Aloe polyphylla: can meta-topolin and its derivatives serve as replacement for benzyladenine and zeatin?

  • Michael W. Bairu
  • Wendy A. Stirk
  • Karel Dolezal
  • Johannes Van StadenEmail author
Original Paper


Benzyladenine (BA) is the most widely used cytokinin in the micropropagation industry due to its effectiveness and affordability. It, however, has disadvantages such as genetic alteration and abnormal growth in some plants. Naturally occurring zeatin on the other hand is not as widely used as BA and is far more expensive. The use of meta-topolin and its derivatives as alternatives to BA and zeatin, both of which frequently have negative effects in tissue culture was investigated. In vitro grown Aloe polyphylla (an endangered medicinal and ornamental aloe) were cultured on full strength Murashige and Skoog basal medium with different concentrations of cytokinins and solidified with 1% Bacteriological Agar (Oxoid No. 1). mT was the preferred cytokinin both in terms of multiplication rate and rooting. The optimum concentration that induced regeneration and rooting is 5.0 μM. The problem of hyperhydricity was totally controlled. Plants rooted spontaneously in multiplication medium, thus avoiding the extra rooting step of the protocol. More than 91% of the plants transferred to ex vitro conditions were successfully acclimatized.


Aromatic cytokinins Conservation Hyperhydricity Metabolites Multiplication rate Plant growth regulators Root and shoot growth 



[6-benzylamino-9- β-d-glucopyranosylpurine]




indole butyric acid


Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium












plant growth regulators





We acknowledge the financial support of the National Research Foundation (NRF), Pretoria. This work was also supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA 522/06/0108).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael W. Bairu
    • 1
  • Wendy A. Stirk
    • 1
  • Karel Dolezal
    • 2
  • Johannes Van Staden
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Biological and Conservation SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg ScottsvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Laboratory of Growth RegulatorsPalacky University and Institute of Experimental Botany AS CROlomouc-HoliceCzech Republic

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