An efficient adventitious shoot production protocol has been developed for Rhododendron laetum × aurigeranum. Shoot tips taken from greenhouse-grown plants were cultured on Anderson's medium supplemented with 74 μM 2iP. Axillary shoots were excised and cultured on medium containing 23 μM IAA and 74 μM 2iP. After 6 months, brown callus developed at the cut surfaces of the shoot-tip explants. This callus produced many adventitious shoots (up to 70 per explant). Clusters of adventitious shoots were divided, subculture, and continued to proliferate shoots. An estimated 1600-fold increase in the number of shoots could be readily achieved in 6 months. In vitro rooting of adventitious shoots was accomplished in 4 weeks. Seventy-three percent of shoots rooted on 1/4 strength Anderson's medium supplemented with 28 μm IAA. Plantlet survival was 100%3 weeks after transfer to soil. Chemical names used: 1-H-indole-3-acetic acid (MA); N-(3 -methy1-2-butenyl) -1H-purine-6 amine (2iP).
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