Clonal Propagation of Cauliflower, Brassica oleracea botrytis for Hybrid Seed Production

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  • 1 Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Group, Dept. of Agriculture and Resource Management, The Univ. of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia

Brassica oleracea is an important vegetable crop, which includes fully cross-fertile cultivars such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kohlrabi, and kale. F1 hybrids are desirable, as plants grown from hybrid seeds benefit from the heterotic effect of crossing genetically distinct pure lines. But, there is no practical and reliable method to create male sterility for hybrid seed production that is suitable for Brassica vegetables. We have been working to induce nuclear male sterility in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) by antisense inhibition of Bcp1, a unique anther-specific gene of Brassica. The production of nuclear male-sterile lines will enable male lines with superior agronomic traits to be converted to female parents. Thus, vegetative propagation of parent plants for hybrid seed production by tissue culture is desirable. To achieve this objective, we compared various plant tissues, including stem, petiole, leaf, leaf rib, flower stem, pedicel, flower bud, and petal as explants for tissue culture propagation of an Australian cultivar (B-4) of cauliflower, Brassica oleracea var. botrytis. Four different MS based media containing different amounts of BAP, NAA, GA3, and silver nitrate were used. The cultures were incubated at 25°C with a 16-hr photoperiod. Initial response was visible within 10 days, but percentage callus, root, and shoot formation was scored after 3 weeks of culturing. Of all the explants tested, pedicel explants showed maximum shoot initiation and leaf explant did not respond to regeneration under the conditions tested. The results from these on going experiments will be presented and discussed.

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