A New Method for Rapid In Vitro Propagation of Apple and Pear

in HortScience
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  • 1 Exelixis Plant Sciences, Inc., 16160 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97224

Improved in vitro clonal propagation methods are valuable tools for nurseries and growers, and are essential for manipulation and improvement of tree fruit germplasm using the tools and techniques of biotechnology. We have developed a rapid shoot multiplication procedure for clonal propagation of apple, Malus ×domestica cv. Gale Gala and pear, Pyrus communis L. cv. Bartlett. Rapid clonal multiplication was achieved after the following series of steps: pre-conditioning of micropropagated shoots, sectioning pre-treated stems into thin slices, placing slices onto shoot induction medium and incubating directly under cool-white fluorescent lights or after a brief dark incubation. Multiple induction of shoots recovered from stem slice explants within three weeks of culture. A maximum of 37% of cultured apple stem slices, and 97% of pear stem slices, showed induction of shoots. More shoots were recovered on phytagel solidified shoot induction medium than on agar. Cultured stem slices of both apple and pear showed maximum recovery of shoots from shoot induction medium supplemented with thidiazuron (TDZ) compared to medium supplemented with BAP and kinetin. Under ideal conditions, pear stems generated four times the shoots as the same quantity or length of apple shoots. Micropropagated shoots were rooted and transferred to the greenhouse and field nursery for further evaluation. Chemical names used: N-phenyl-N′-1,2,3-thidiazol-5-ylurea (thidiazuron or TDZ); 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP).

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