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In vitro propagation of the medicinal herbs Ocimum americanum L. syn. O. canum Sims. (hoary basil) and Ocimum sanctum L. (holy basil)

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A procedure is outlined for in vitro propagation of two medicinal herbs, Ocimum americanum L. syn. O. canum Sims (hoary basil) and Ocimum sanctum L. (holy basil), using axillary shoot buds. Multiple shoot formation was induced from shoot bud explants of both species on Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) supplemented with benzyladenine (BA). The optimum BA concentrations for shoot proliferation were 0.25 mg/l for O. americanum and 1.0 mg/l for O. sanctum. Incorporation of 0.5 mg/l gibberellic acid (GA3) along with BA in the culture medium resulted in a marked increase in the frequency of axillary branching as well as multiple shoot formation. Shoot buds collected between September through December were most responsive in culture. Shoots of O. americanum were rooted on half-strength MS supplemented with 1.0 mg/l indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), whereas O. sanctum rooted best on medium with 1.0 mg/l naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). The plantlets were hardened off and successfully established in natural soil, where they grew and matured normally.

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2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

GA3 :

gibberellic acid


indole-3-acetic acid


indole-3-butyric acid


Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium


1-naphthaleneacetic acid


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Communicated by G. C. Phillips

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Pattnaik, S., Chand, P.K. In vitro propagation of the medicinal herbs Ocimum americanum L. syn. O. canum Sims. (hoary basil) and Ocimum sanctum L. (holy basil). Plant Cell Reports 15, 846–850 (1996).

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