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  • Author or Editor: Betty Robicheaux x
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Micropropagation is a useful technique to propagate species such as deciduous azaleas, which are difficult to root from cuttings. To develop a micropropagation protocol that would be effective with a wide range of species and cultivars of native azalea, two culture media, Woody Plant Medium (WPM) (Lloyd and McCown, 1980) and ER medium (Economou and Read, 1994) were evaluated for ability to support growth of 11 species and four cultivars of deciduous azalea. Shoot tips were obtained from the first flush of growth in the spring on plants growing in the greenhouse or field. Following disinfection, the terminal and basal ends were removed from each explant. The explants were placed in culture tubes containing either WPM or ER medium with 12 mg/L 2iP and solidified with agar. Cultures were transferred to fresh medium every 4 to 6 weeks. Initial evaluations were made in 1996, and the experiment was repeated in 1997. In 1998, six of the taxa were evaluated for a third year. For most of the taxa evaluated, growth was superior on ER medium. On WPM, many of the cultures browned and died. R. canescens, R. viscosum, R. prunifolium, and R. austrinum are examples of species that preferred ER medium. R. alabamense, R. arborescens, and `My Mary' performed similarly on either medium.

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