Alginate encapsulation of axillary buds of Ocimum americanum L. (hoary basil), O. Basilicum L. (sweet basil), O. Gratissimum L. (shrubby basil), and O. Sanctum. L. (sacred basil)
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Propagation and conservation of four pharmaceutically important herbs, Ocimum americanum L. syn. O. canum Sims. (hoary basil); O basilicum L. (swett basil); O. gratissimum L. (shrubby basil); and O. sanctum L. (sacred basil) was attempted using synthetic seed technology. Synthetic seeds were produced by encapsulating axillary vegetative buds harvested from garden-grown plants of these four Ocimum species in calcium alginate gel. The gel contained Murashige and Skoog (MS) nutrients and 1.1-4.4 μM benzyladenine (BA). Shoots emerged from the encapsulated buds on all six planting media tested. However, the highest frequency shoot emergence and maximum number of shoots per bud were recorded on media containing BA. Of the six planting media tested, both shoot and root emergence from the encapsulated buds in a single step was recorded on growth regulator-free MS medium as well as on vermi-compost moistened with halfstrength MS medium. Rooted shoots were retrieved from the encapsulated buds of O. americanum, O. basilicum, and O. sanctum on these two media, whereas shoots of O. gratissimum failed to root. The encapsulated buds could be stored for 60 d at 4°C. Plants retrieved from the encapsulated buds were hardened off and established in soil.
Key wordsmedicinal plants axillary buds synthetic seeds plant regeneration Ocimum species
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