Liquid Culture Systems for in vitro Plant Propagation

pp 425-442

Use of the temporary immersion bioreactor system (RITA®) for production of commercial Eucalyptus clones in Mondi Forests (SA)

  • B. Mc AlisterAffiliated withMondi Forests
  • , J. FinnieAffiliated withSchool of Botany and Zoology, University of Natal Pietermaritzburg
  • , M.P. WattAffiliated withSchool of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Natal Durban
  • , F. BlakewayAffiliated withMondi Forests

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In order to optimise tissue culture systems and to meet production targets, Mondi Forests’ biotechnology programme has in the last two years concentrated efforts on the use of the RITA® temporary immersion bioreactor system. Protocols have been established for six Eucalyptus clones. Results indicate a four- to six-fold increase in yield, in half the time, with the RITA® system when compared with axillary bud proliferation on semi-solid media. Furthermore, plants produced from the RITA® system are hardier and acclimatize better, giving higher yields of hardened-off plants. The establishment of aseptic axillary shoots into the RITA® system is from shoots in the semi-solid system. Highest multiplication was achieved using 30-second flushes of medium every 10 minutes, starting with 50 shoots per vessel. The multiplication cycles in RITA® are between 14 and 18 days, compared with 25 to 28 days in a semi-solid system. There is minimal callus evident on the leaves and bases of the stems of plants in the RITA® system and, in addition, cold-tolerant plants have a greater rooting competence when compared with plants coming from the semi-solid system. Ex vitro rooting of RITA®-derived plantlets is substantially better than the plants from the semi-solid media.

Key words

costs forest tree liquid vs. semi-solid tissue culture rooting woody plants