A Laboratory Exercise for Axillary Shoot Proliferation using Ajuga reptans

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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Science, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901.

This exercise was developed for a plant propagation course to demonstrate, in a short time, the four stages of micropropagation, the effects of cytokinin concentrations, and the differences between adventitious and axillary shoots. Greenhouse-grown stock plants were brought into the laboratory, and 4- to 5-cm-long tips of runners were surface-dis-infested for 15 min in 0.5% NaClO with 1 ml of Tween 20/liter, followed by two 5-min rinses in sterile water. Working in the open laboratory near the bases of pairs of lit Bunsen burners, students placed either single-node or shoot tip explants (2 cm long, five replications) onto MS medium with 0, 1, or 10 μM BA. Cultures were in-cubated in parafilm-sealed culture tubes on open laboratory benches. Axillary shoots grew regardless of concentration of BA, and explants on medium with 10 μM BA produced the most callus and adventitious shoots. Microshoots were rooted and ac-climatized under mist in the greenhouse. This exercise can be performed in an open laboratory without the use of laminar flow hoods, specialized sterilizing equipment, or supplemental lighting.

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