Previous research has optimized the colchicine dropper technique for chromosome doubling under greenhouse conditions. In recent years, in vitro germination of cut strawberry achenes has greatly increased germination rates. Combining the two techniques would be especially useful when chromosome doubling is desired for interspecific hybridization. Fragaria vesca was chosen for initial study. Treatments included colchicine levels of 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, or 5% (w/v); exposure time to colchicine was from 6 to 16 to 26 hours; application was at the cotyledon stage or after the first true leaf formed; presence or absence of 3 g activated charcoal/liter; and presence or absence of DMSO. Media consisted of MS salts and vitamins, 30 g sucrose/liter, and 2.5 g phytogel/liter. Charcoal enhanced upward growth of seedlings, thus allowing better placement of colchicine droplets. Reduced exposure time and application at the first true-leaf stage allowed higher levels of colchicine to be used without greatly reducing the vigor of treated seedlings.
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