482 In Vivo Micrografts in Almond (Prunus dulcis)

in HortScience

Micrografts have proven a very useful technique when the early propagation of plant material is desired either to invigorate weak material, multiply selected genotypes, or obtained virus-free shoots. This is the situation with the recovery of haploid almond embryos, which occur at low frequency with sexual embryos in twin seeds (i.e., multiple embryos within the same seedcoat). Often these haploid plants show weak growth due to their haploid condition and their poorly developed state within twin seeds. Very little information is presently available, however, concerning the effectiveness of different micrografting techniques for almond. In this work, we examine the success of in vivo micrografting of `Nonpareil' almond seedlings under different conditions. Variables included type of micro-scion, the rootstock genotype, and the growth stage of the rootstock. Microscions tested included small (3 mm) micro-wedges from either unsprouted or recently sprouted buds. Rootstocks evaluated included the `Hanson' (peach × almond) hybrid, and Nemared and Nemaguard peach rootstocks. Rootstocks were grafted after either ≈3 weeks of growth, when the tissue was still herbaceous, or after ≈3 months of growth, when the tissue had become woody. Results show significant differences between the treatments. Findings will be discussed both in terms of effectiveness of different approaches and the advantages and disadvantages of their use in breeding programs.

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