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Influence of plant growth regulators on shoot proliferation and secondary metabolite production in micropropagated Huernia hystrix


Although the effectiveness of topolins in plant tissue culture systems has recently been highlighted, there is a dearth of information on their interactions with auxins in relation to shoot organogenesis and secondary metabolite production. The current study evaluated the role of topolins singly or in combination with an auxin in comparison to 6-benzyladenine (BA) on shoot proliferation and secondary metabolite production of Huernia hystrix, a medicinal and ornamental stem-succulent of the endemic flora of southern Africa. Meta-topolin (mT) was more effective in improving shoot proliferation and phenolic production compared to BA. In general, the exogenous addition of α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) significantly increased shoot proliferation. The highest number of regenerated shoots (12.2 ± 0.98 shoots per explant) was recorded with medium containing 20 μM mT supplemented with 10 μM NAA and was three-times higher when compared to the treatments with cytokinin only. This suggests a synergistic interaction of auxin with cytokinin. On the other hand, supplementation with low NAA concentrations resulted in reduced in vitro flavonoid production in most cases, when compared to treatments with cytokinin only. Moreover, differences in cytokinin concentrations (even when used in combination with NAA equimolar concentrations) significantly affected secondary metabolite production in some cases. The current findings highlighted the differential effects of auxin-cytokinin interactions on shoot proliferation and the production of secondary metabolites in H. hystrix.

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2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid




Analysis of variance




Benzyladenine riboside


Cyanide chloride equivalents


Catechin equivalents


Duncan’s multiple range test


Dry weight


Gallic acid equivalents


Indole acetic acid


Indole-3-butyric acid




meta-Methoxytopolin riboside


meta-Methoxytopolin tetrahydropyran-2-yl


Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium




meta-Topolin riboside


α-Naphthalene acetic acid


Plant growth regulator


Plant growth regulators


Photosynthetic photon flux




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The award of a postdoctoral fellowship by Claude Leon Foundation to the first author is gratefully acknowledged. We thank the Laboratory of Growth Regulators, Palacky University and Institute of Experimental Botany AS CR, Czech Republic for the topolins.

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Correspondence to Johannes Van Staden.

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Amoo, S.O., Van Staden, J. Influence of plant growth regulators on shoot proliferation and secondary metabolite production in micropropagated Huernia hystrix . Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 112, 249–256 (2013).

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  • Aromatic cytokinins
  • Auxins
  • Plant tissue culture
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Topolins
  • Succulent