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Assessment of tissue culture-derived ‘Gala’ and ‘Royal Gala’ apples (Malus × domestica Borkh.) for somaclonal variation

Abstract

To assess somaclonal variation, ‘Gala’ and ‘Royal Gala’ trees obtained via axillary and adventitious bud formation were compared ex vitro to conventionally grafted trees. In general, tissue culture-derived trees were relatively erect in comparison to grafted trees. Their branch angles were narrower than those of grafted trees. All trees that flowered had pink blossoms. There were no obvious differences in flowering time or in floral morphology. Most of the seven-year-old grafted control trees produced more fruits than either axillary or regenerated trees. Although there were differences in the range of fruit color between ‘Royal Gala’ and ‘Gala’ apples in both the control and tissue culture-derived plants (the fruits of ‘Royal Gala’ were darker red and more striped than those of ‘Gala’) and also in the degree of pigmentation from tree-to-tree, none of the variation exceeded that observed among apples harvested from an individual ‘Royal Gala’ or ‘Gala’ control tree for either the plants derived from axillary buds or adventitiously. Since both ‘Gala’ and ‘Royal Gala’ axillary buds showed very little somaclonal variation for the morphological and reproductive traits we studied, it appears that tissue culture may be a useful way to propagate these cultivars.

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McMeans, O., Skirvin, R.M., Otterbacher, A. et al. Assessment of tissue culture-derived ‘Gala’ and ‘Royal Gala’ apples (Malus × domestica Borkh.) for somaclonal variation. Euphytica 103, 251–257 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018316422435

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018316422435

  • Malus
  • somaclonal variation
  • tissue culture
  • in vitro