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Improved in vitro micropropagation method with adventitious corms and roots for endangered saffron

The objective of this study was to investigate development of an efficient in vitro tissue culture system for saffron (Crocus sativus L.) complete with roots and corms. In indirect organogenesis, Murashige and Skoog (MS) media with 3% (w/v) sucrose, 100 mg L(-1) ascorbic acid, and the combination of 0.25 mg L(-1) 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 1 mg L(-1) 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) were best for callus initiation and growth while 1.5 mg L(-1) BAP was excellent for high rate of adventitious shoot formation. 1 mg L(-1) indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) was more preferable for adventitious corm and root initiation as well as growth. Overall, 64% rooting and 33% corm production rates were achieved in indirect organogenesis. In direct organogenesis, MS medium supplemented with 3 % sucrose, 100 mg L(-1) ascorbic acid and 1 mg L(-1) BAP was optimum for shoot growth. While 1 mg L(-1) IBA was best for adventitious corm formation, 2 mg L(-1) IBA promoted adventitious root initiation and growth. Overall, 36% and 57% of explants had corm and contractile root, respectively. The high rates suggest that efficient tissue culture system could be achieved for mass propagation and ex situ conservation of threatened saffron genetic resources.