Nitrogen ions and nitrogen ion proportions impact the growth of apricot (Prunus armeniaca) shoot cultures

  • Irina Y. Kovalchuk
  • Zinat Mukhitdinova
  • Timur Turdiyev
  • Gulnara Madiyeva
  • Melekşen Akin
  • Ecevit Eyduran
  • Barbara M. Reed
Original Article


Nitrogen is a major driver of plant growth and the nitrogen source can be critical to good growth in vitro. A response surface methodology mixture-component design and a data mining algorithm were applied to nitrogen (N) nutrition for improving the micropropagation of Prunus armeniaca Lam. Data taken on shoot cultures included a subjective quality rating, shoot number, shoot length, leaf characteristics and physiological disorders. Data were analyzed using the Classification and Regression Tree data mining algorithm. The best overall shoot quality as well as leaf color were on medium with NO3 > 25 mM and NH4+/Ca+ > 0.8. Improving shoot length to15 mm required 25 < NO3 ≤ 35 mM with NH4+/Ca2+ ≤ 2.33. The most shoots (11.6) were produced with NO3 > 25 mM and NH4+/Ca2+ ≤ 0.8, but there were 5–10 shoots at other NO3 concentrations regardless of NH4+/Ca2+ proportion. Leaves increased in size with higher NO3 concentrations (> 55 mM). Physiological disorders were also influenced by the nitrogen components. Shoot tip necrosis was rarely present with NO3 > 45 mM. Callus production decreased somewhat with NH4+/Ca2+ > 2.33. Suggested concentrations for an improved medium considering all of these growth characteristics would be 25 < NO3 ≤ 35 mM and NH4+/Ca+ ≤ 0.8. Validation experiments comparing WPM and three trial media showed improvements in several shoot growth parameters on medium with optimized mesos and optimized nitrogen components.


CART data mining Ion confounding Medium optimization Micropropagation Mixture component 



This study was funded by International Science and Technology Center project grant K-1920 and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service CRIS project 5358-21000-038-00D.

Author contributions

IK assisted with planning the study, supervised the work and assisted in writing the manuscript; ZM, TT and GM set up and ran the experiments and collected data; MA assisted with data analysis and writing the manuscript; EE assisted with data analysis; BR assisted with planning the study, set up the experimental design, assisted with data analysis and writing the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human and animal rights

No animals or humans were used in this research. All authors have agreed to this submission.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irina Y. Kovalchuk
    • 1
  • Zinat Mukhitdinova
    • 1
  • Timur Turdiyev
    • 1
  • Gulnara Madiyeva
    • 1
  • Melekşen Akin
    • 2
  • Ecevit Eyduran
    • 3
  • Barbara M. Reed
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Biology and BiotechnologyAlmatyRepublic of Kazakhstan
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture, Agricultural FacultyIgdir UniversityIgdirTurkey
  3. 3.Biometry Genetics Unit, Department of Animal Science, Agricultural FacultyIgdir UniversityIgdirTurkey
  4. 4.Retired-United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research ServiceNational Clonal Germplasm RepositoryCorvallisUSA
  5. 5.Department of HorticultureOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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