Sandalwood (Santalum album L.) is a small evergreen, hemi-parasitic tree having more than 18 woody species that are mostly distributed in South Asia, Australia, and Hawaii. Its economical importance is derived from its heartwood oil, but its difficult propagation makes conservation essential. The percentage of seed germination is poor and germination time exceeds 12 mo. Vegetative propagation can be accomplished by grafting, air layering, or with root suckers, but the production of clones is inefficient and time consuming. In this study, efficient plant regeneration was achieved via indirect organogenesis from callus cultures derived from leaf tissues of S. album. Callus induction was induced when leaf explants were cultured on woody plant media (WPM) supplemented with either thidiazuron (TDZ) or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. The highest callus frequency (100%) was obtained when leaf tissue was cultured in the medium with 0.4 mg l−1 TDZ. Fresh weight (141.92 mg) and dry weight (47 mg) of leaf-derived callus were highest in the medium supplemented with 0.8 mg l−1 TDZ. The WPM medium supplemented with 2.5 mg l−1 BA + 0.4 mg l−1 NAA was the most effective, producing the highest number of shoot buds (24.6) per callus. The highest number of shoots per explant (20.67) and shoot length (5.17 cm) were observed in media supplemented with 5.0 mg l−1 BA and 3.0 mg 1−1 Kn, respectively. Plantlets were rooted on WPM medium with different concentrations of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). The highest rooting percentage (91.67) and survival were achieved using WPM media with 1.5 mg l−1 IBA. All plantlets survived acclimatization, producing healthy plants in the greenhouse. The current investigation showed efficient in vitro regeneration capabilities of S. album from leaf explants.
Callus induction Callus frequency Shoot bud Sandalwood Acclimatization