BA, IBA and GA3 were incorporated into softwood tissues to be cultured in vitro or rooted as cuttings by adding the plant growth regulators (PGR) at various concentrations to a forcing solution containing 200 mg/l 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate and 2% sucrose. BA and GA3 helped break bud dormancy in autumn-collected stems and increased percent bud-break. IBA inhibited bud break and shoot elongation. Rooting of forced softwood cuttings was enhanced by IBA in the forcing solution, while GA3 inhibited the rooting of plant species tested. When dormant stems were forced with periodic additions of BA (10 mg/l) in the forcing solution, in vitro shoot proliferation was enhanced. However, inclusion of GA3 in the forcing solution reduced shoot proliferation. A pre-forcing NaOCl soak and a pre-forcing treatment with wetting agents accelerated bud break, size and number of shoots available for both micro- and macro-propagation of the woody plant species tested. The forcing solution protocol described is an effective PGR delivery system and it can be used by the propagator to extend the season for obtaining softwood growth suitable for use as in vitro explants or softwood cuttings.
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