In Vitro Colonization of Micropropagated Pieris floribunda by Ericoid Mycorrhizae. II. Effects on Acclimatization and Growth

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
  • | 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, George Washington Carver Center, Beltsville, MD 20705-5140
  • | 3 Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7616

Inoculation of microshoots of Pieris floribunda (Pursh ex Sims) Benth. and Hook. (mountain andromeda) with isolates of Hymenoscyphus ericae (Read) Korf and Kernan ericoid mycorrhizal fungi stimulated growth during 1 month in vitro. However, no benefits were apparent after 3 months in a greenhouse. Acclimatization of plantlets of P. floribunda to greenhouse conditions following in vitro inoculation improved survival (42% vs. 16% for controls). The protocol reported herein is similar to procedures utilized currently for micropropagation of various ericaceous species and has potential to improve plantlet survival during acclimatization.

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