SCREENING OF SOMACLONAL VARIANTS IN VITRO TO PRODUCE INSECT RESISTANT PLANTS

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  • 1 Dept. of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269

Callus cultures of Torenia fournieri `Compacta Blue' were initiated on a modified Murashige and Skoog salt medium (MS) with 2.26 uM 2,4-dichloro-phenoxy acetic acid. Shoots were regenerated from these cultures using the MS medium amended with 2.46 uM 3-indolebutyric acid and 8.88 uM 6-benzylaminopurine. These shoots were subjected to Tetranychus urticae Koch (twospotted spidermite) and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (greenhouse whitefly) in vitro. Pests were allowed to feed until such time that the pest population started to decrease due to lack of food. Remaining shoot tissue was placed on MS medium amended with 2.28 uM zeatin to -induce shoot formation. Shoots were acclimated to greenhouse conditions and evaluated for resistance to the pest to which they were subjected in vitro. Highly significant differences in pest numbers were found in somaclones when compared to control plants. A wide range of variability was observed within the somaclonal population.

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