Micropropagation of Achimenes Hybrids for Winter Production

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Technological Educational Inst., 71500 Iraklion, Crete, Greece.

Achimenes is a summer-flowering pot plant commonly propagated by shoot tip cuttings taken from rhizomes released from dormancy. Micropropagation was used in this study in order to establish a protocol for producing plants in winter when Achimenes are not usually available. Leaf segments, taken in August 1993, from hybrids `Flamenco', `Rosenelfe', `Bella', and `Sandra' grown in a greenhouse, were cultured on a modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.1 mg·liter–1 BA and 0.5 mg·liter–1; shoots proliferated without callus formation. Leaf explants taken from the proliferated shoots were placed on MS medium with 0.5 mg·liter–1 BA and 0.1 mg·liter–1 NAA for 8 weeks for further shoots proliferation. `Bella' showed vigorous growth and produced the most shoots (82) with no rhizomes, whereas `Flamenco' had the least shoots (28) along with rhizomes. Shoot tips were then transferred on MS medium supplemented with 0.5 mg·liter–1 NAA for 6 weeks where more vigorous shoots developed along with roots. Microcuttings were directly stuck ex vitro under moisture and rooted well in 4 weeks before planting in individual culture and flowered normally. These results provide the basis for a successful production of Achimenes hybrids for growth and flowering in winter months provided optimal temperature and irradiance levels are given.

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