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Mohsen Hesami and Mostafa Rahmati-Joneidabad

Ficus religiosa L. is one of the most popular species in the Moraceae family that is known as a multipurpose forest tree species because of its medicinal, ornamental, and religious value. F. religiosa is an important tree in South Asia, and it possesses various common names such as peepal, bodhi, bo tree, and asvattha. This species as a traditional tree is broadly planted as a roadside tree, and it plays an important role as a medicinal tree in various diseases such as asthma, stomatitis, diabetes, inflammations, glandular swelling disorders, and wound healing. Because F. religiosa is characterized as a subtropical tree, it fully grew in southern parts of Iran. The morphological variation of 72 individuals of F. religiosa from six southern regions of Iran was investigated based on multivariate analysis. Our results indicated that the highest tree, leaf, and petiole lengths, as well as leaf width, were observed in Kish and Qeshm genotypes, whereas the Chabahar genotype had the lowest petiole length. Results of simple correlation analysis showed the existence of significant positive and negative correlations among some important parameters. The highest correlation was observed between leaf, tree, and petiole lengths. Populations were clustered in four groups. The Kish and Qeshm genotypes were closely related to each other and differentiated from the Chabahar genotype. The whole dataset was subjected to principal component analysis (PCA). PCA showed that the first two factor components explained 84.51% of the variation and the first factor component had the positive relationship with leaf, tree, and petiole lengths.

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Mohsen Hesami and Mohammad Hosein Daneshvar

Ficus religiosa is an important industrial, medicinal, and ornamental plant, so in vitro regeneration is of high paramount in this valuable germplasm. Two efficient protocols were developed for indirect and direct shoot organogenesis through hypocotyl explants. In the first experiment, different concentrations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and indole butyric acid (IBA) (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mg·L−1) in combination with 6-benzyl amino purine (BAP) (ratio 10:1, respectively) were used for callus formation. Two types of callus were obtained from different concentrations of plant growth regulators (PGRs). Also, 2,4-D produced yellow-brownish and friable callus (Type I), whereas the green and compact callus (Type II) was achieved in IBA. The highest callus fresh weight (2.43 g) was observed in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 0.5 mg·L−1 2,4-D plus 0.05 mg·L−1 BAP. In the later experiments, various concentrations of thidiazuron (TDZ), 6-furfuryl amino purine (KN), and BAP (0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mg·L−1) in combination with IBA (ratio 10:1, respectively) were applied for shoot regeneration (direct and indirect organogenesis). In shoot regeneration from callus, the highest regeneration frequency (86.66%) and shoot number per callus (4.13) were achieved in MS medium supplemented with 1.5 mg·L−1 BAP plus 0.15 mg·L−1 IBA from type I calli. However, no regeneration was observed in type II calli. In direct shoot regeneration, the highest regeneration frequency (96.66%) and shoot number (6.26) were obtained in the medium mentioned previously. In root induction experiment, different concentrations of naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and IBA alone or in combination were applied, and MS medium containing 2.0 mg·L−1 IBA along with 0.1 mg·L−1 NAA was the best hormonal balance for root induction. The rooted plantlets’ survival rate was more than 95% in the acclimatization stage. These results demonstrated that the direct regeneration method provides more shoot regeneration frequency and take a less time for shoot organogenesis than the indirect regeneration method. Based on our knowledge, this study is the first report of direct and indirect shoot organogenesis of F. religiosa via hypocotyl from in vitro–grown seedling.