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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 78: Symposium on Tissue Culture for Horticultural Purposes

PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF THE PROPAGATION OF CAULIFLOWER BY MERISTEM CULTURE

Authors:   B.W.W. Grout, P. Crisp
Abstract:
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.) can be clonally propagated by aseptic culture of curd pieces, which contain numerous meristems. This technique is used to multiply valuable breeding material, eliminate virus and screen for genetically controlled defects that are unreliably expressed under field conditions.

When regenerated plants are transplanted directly from liquid cultures to pots in the glasshouse up to 90% may die, even with careful hardening procedures. This is because the regenerates are not autotrophic at this stage, and their water relationships are not yet established. The leaves produced in liquid culture have a translucent appearance, and die during hardening. Plants which survive do so by producing new, competent foliage early in the hardening period.

If the regenerates are transferred to static culture for one or more passages before transplanting, smaller, less translucent leaves develop which persist and grow after the regenerates are transplanted. Careful hardening procedures must still be employed but losses do not exceed 50%.

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