In Vitro Responses of Tissues from Rhododendron Plants With and Without Tissue Proliferation

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  • 1 Dept. of Plant Science, U-67, The Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269

Rhododendron `Montego' shoot cultures initiated from plants with and without tissue proliferation (TP and NTP) served as explant sources for all studies (Note: in vitro TP shoot cultures produce primarily dwarf shoots, some long shoots, and stem tumors). Calli induced from TP leaves and tumors and NTP leaves were cultured on woody plant (WP) medium containing NAA and 2-iP. During the first 4 weeks of culture, calli from NTP leaves had higher relative growth rates than calli from TP leaves or tumors. However, calli from TP leaves and tumors grew faster than calli from NTP leaves for all subculture periods that followed. Shoot tips (5 mm) were excised from TP dwarf shoots, TP long shoots, and NTP shoots and were cultured on WP medium with or without 15 μM 2-iP. Shoot tips from TP dwarf and long shoots multiplied on medium without 2-iP, averaging 18.4 and 1.7 shoots per shoot tip in 12 weeks, respectively. Shoot tips from NTP shoots only multiplied when maintained on 2-iP-containing medium. When placed on 2-iP-containing medium, both types of TP shoot tips produced clusters of callus-like nodules that gave rise to highly tumorized, short shoots or leafy meristems.

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