Garlic (Allium sativum L.) plants were cultured from immature inflorescence bulbils. The primordia of bulbils appeared initially as protuberances on reproductive apices, swelled, and then formed bulbils with protective leaves. Excised bulbils sprouted on Murashige and Skoog's medium with 5.4 μm naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and grew into plantlets. The frequency of sprouting in culture increased with the development of bulbils before excision, and immature bulbils 0.4 to 2.4 mm in diameter sprouted at a frequency of >85%. A dot immunoblot assay revealed a remarkable reduction in levels of garlic mite-borne mosaic virus in plantlets grown from immature bulbils, suggesting that such bulbils might be suitable for the propagation of virus-free garlic plants.
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