Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 1 of 1 items for

  • Author or Editor: Rachel K. Johnston x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

Sullivan Lynch, Rachel K. Johnston, Ron O. Determann, Jennifer M. Cruse-Sanders and Gerald S. Pullman

Symphyotrichum georgianum (Asteraceae), commonly known as Georgia aster, is a candidate for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act in the four southeastern U.S. states where it lives. Rarity of this species is thought to be attributable in part to small population sizes and limited seed production. Protocols for in vitro germination, sustainable shoot micropropagation, shoot establishment in soil, and seed cryopreservation are presented that will assist in the safeguarding and augmentation of dwindling natural populations. Germination in vitro on growth regulator-free half-strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium after sterilization in H2O2 initiated the development of shoot cultures. Shoot multiplication and elongation occurred on half-strength MS salts containing 0.1 mg·L–l benzylaminopurine and 0.2 mg·L–l gibberellic acid, producing an average of 18 new shoots over a 6- to 8-week subculture cycle. Shoots rooted easily when planted into cutting mix after treatment with rooting powder containing indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or in vitro rooting in medium with or without N-acetyl-L-aspartic acid (NAA). Plant survival after 1 month was 90% or higher for all treatments. Cryopreservation tests with seeds from three populations averaged 46.7% germination compared with control seed (no cryostorage) germination of 43%; differences were not statistically significant. Fresh seeds and seeds equilibrated for 1 to 4 weeks at room temperature and 12% relative humidity did not differ significantly in germination post-cryopreservation. Initial observations suggest that Georgia aster rapidly loses seed viability over 1 to 2 years when stored at room temperature. The ability to increase seed longevity through cryopreservation storage may be a critical step in the conservation of this species.