TISSUE CULTURE STUDIES ON Stevia rebaudiana AS A SOURCE OF NEW SWEETENER CROP

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bert.) leaves produce stevioside and rebaudioside that can be used as a natural source of low-calorie sweetener which is heat-stable. Because of low fertility, this plant is often vegetatively propagated for field production. This study was conducted to optimize tissue culture procedures for propagating selected clones and explore the feasibility of producing the sweetener compounds by callus cultures. Shoot proliferation was best in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/l naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) Plus 10 mg/l kinetin. Kinetin as a cytokinin source was better than benzyladenine (BA) especially when NAA was present. Callus production fronm leaf disc cultures was most prolific when a combination of 0.1 mg/l NAA and 3 mg/l BA was used in MS medium. The relative sweetener contents of callus cultures are currently being-analyzed.

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