Biological and nutritional aspects involved in fern multiplication
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Gametophytes of several species of ferns were mechanically triturated and the resulting homogenates cultured in vitro for propagation purposes. Differences in the time period from spore culture to sporophyte development were perceivable between species. For those species with a fast life cycle and high sporophyte production such as Woodwardia virginica and Dryopteris affinis sp. affinis, homogenization of gametophytes can be considered to be excellent method for propagation, yielding hundreds of sporophytes in a short period of time. Sporophyte formation was inhibited in O. regalis by the succesive application of homogenization to gametophytes regenerated by this technique. The effect of the culture medium composition on fern production was also studied in O. regalis and P. ensiformis gametophytes. In these species, sporophyte formation increased when the gametophytes were cultured in a medium containing water+0.7% agar. Addition of sucrose inhibited gametophyte development and induced their necrosis. The 1/2 dilution of Murashige and Skoog basal medium, without sucrose, favoured leaf expansion in P. ensiformis sporophytes.
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