Direct Shoot Regeneration from Vaccinium pahalae (Ohelo) and V. myrtillus (Bilberry) Leaf Explants

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  • 1 Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 1021 Plant Sciences Laboratory MC-634, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801

Ohelo (V. pahalae Skottsb.) and bilberry (V. myrtillus L.) shoots were regenerated via direct organogenesis from whole leaves and leaf sections and also from hypocotyl explants of bilberry. Explants preincubated for 1 to 2 weeks in darkness yielded ≈75% regeneration frequencies and the highest number of regenerating shoots/explant on TDZ-supplemented media (0.9 to 2.7 μm). When 2iP or zeatin were substituted as the cytokinin source, frequencies of regeneration and shoot productivity were significantly lower. Explants held under constant illumination (no dark pretreatment) had significantly lower regeneration frequencies in all tested cytokinin-supplemented media. 2,4-D stimulated callus formation, but did not support regeneration from vegetative explants. Cells from callus and suspension cultures did not exhibit regeneration in any of the media that supported organogenesis from leaves. Regenerants were successfully micropropagated, although callus formation caused by zeatin and high 2iP levels interfered with shoot proliferation. Zeatin induced hyperhydricity in shoots from both species, but more severely in ohelo. Ex vitro rooting after treatment with 4.9 μm IBA or 5.4 μm NAA was 95% and 60% successful for bilberry and ohelo, respectively, and plants were readily acclimatized after an interval in a fog chamber. Bilberry microshoots also rooted in vitro in the absence of growth regulator treatment. Chemical names used: 1H-indole-3-butanoic acid (IBA); N-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)-1-H-purine-6-amine (2iP); 6-furfurylaminopurine (kinetin); 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA); thidiazuron=1-phenyl-3-(1,2,3-thiadiazio-5-yl)urea (TDZ); 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); 6-(4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enylamino) purine (zeatin).

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