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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 829: VI International Symposium on In Vitro Culture and Horticultural Breeding

VERMICULITE IMPROVES EARLY DEVELOPMENT AND SURVIVAL OF LOW CHILL STONE-FRUIT EMBRYOS RESCUED IN VITRO

Authors:   S. Hamill, S. Promchot, G. Bignell, J. Giles, B. Topp
Keywords:   tissue culture, Prunus, plant breeding, peach, nectarine, embryo culture
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.829.10
Abstract:
There are many reports of efficient embryo germination and the method has been optimized to suit subtropical low chill genotypes. However the subsequent growth, vigor, and ability of germinated embryos to develop and survive acclimatization is rarely reported. Many germinated embryos do not survive acclimatization, develop slowly, or fail to develop normally. Methods to improve plant development from in vitro embryo cultures are needed to improve the number of plants that survive to be useful in breeding programs. This paper describes an improved method of embryo rescue that significantly increases embryo shoot and root development that leads to increased plant survival. Four treatments: Woody Plant Media (WPM) solidified with agar, vermiculite with liquid WPM, vermiculite with WPM plus agar, and conventional stratification, were evaluated for embryo growth and subsequent plantlet development and survival for two low-chill peach and one low-chill nectarine cultivar. Highly significant improvements were found for shoot and root development of seedlings germinated in vermiculite based media compared to embryos germinated in conventional agar-based media. Vermiculite with WPM and agar improved plantlet growth subsequent to in vitro culture and significantly increased survival of germinated embryos resulting in more plants reaching the field.

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