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  • Author or Editor: Leopold M. Nyochembeng x
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Studies were conducted to determine the response of cocoyam shoot tips, petioles, cotyledons and hypocotyls in various media for callus formation, adventitious shoot development and somatic embryogenesis. In all experiments, B5 basal medium or low N B5 were supplemented with various growth regulators.

High frequency adventitious shoot proliferation was obtained using cotyledons and hypocotyls in medium supplemented with 1 mg/l IBA and 0.5 mg/l TDZ. Embryogenic callus was obtained using shoot tips in media containing 1 mg/l Dicamba, hile somatic embryos were observed in media containing 0.3 mg/l 2, 4 - D and 1 mg/l Kinetin, using hypocotyl and petiole explants. The impact of these results on micropropagation of cocoyam is discussed.

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Studies were conducted to improve the establishment medium and to induce multiple shoot formation for mass production of cocoyam. The addition of 1 mg/l isopentenyladenine to the basal B5 liquid medium enhanced regeneration and plantlet establishment. Multiple shoot formation was favored by 10 mg/l benzylaminopurine in the basal medium. Furthermore, the multiplication rate could be increased and the micropropagation process enhanced when 4 week old plantlets, rather than 6 week old, were used to induce multiple shoot formation. These results confirmed earlier findings on the effects of sequential application of growth regulators on organogenesis in cocoyam cultures. The impact of these results for mass propagation of this crop is discussed.

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Current goals for space exploration are predicated upon long-term manned space flights and colonization of planetary habitats. Long periods in space without payloads of necessary items from Earth require the development of a self-sustaining ecosystem that will allow astronauts to grow their own food and efficiently recycle the waste products. Crops suggested for growth in space include wheat, rice, carrots, soybean, mushrooms, etc. Optimal and rapid biodegradation of lignin and other cellulosic material of crop residues by candidate edible white rot fungal strains is paramount in the use of these organisms to achieve effective biomass recycling in an advanced life support system (ALS). The incorporation of organic N into the substrate and pairing crop residues may enhance growth and fruiting of the edible fungi, thus increasing the rate of biodegradation of the substrates and biomass recycling. We investigated the mycelial growth of two strains of Pleurotusostreatus (`Grey Dover' and `Blue Dolphin') on processed single vegetative residues of soybean, cowpea, tomato, sweetpotato, or their 1:1 combination with wheat or rice straw. Growth and fruiting of the two strains including another strain (`Pohu') on rice straw mixed with solid thermophilic aerobic reactor (STAR) effluent for degradation and recycling were also studied. Mycelial growth and fruiting in `Grey Dover' and `Blue Dolphin' were significantly repressed on sweetpotato and basil; however, growth of the two strains was improved when sweetpotato and basil substrates were paired with rice or wheat straw. Fruiting was prolific in paired combinations of soybean with wheat or rice straw. High concentration of STAR residue enhanced mycelial growth; however, a relatively lower concentration was required for abundant fruiting.

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