Indexed on: 01 Oct '09Published on: 01 Oct '09Published in: Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
Leucaena leucocephala is a fast growing multipurpose legume tree used for forage, leaf manure, paper and pulp. Lignin in Leucaena pulp adversely influences the quality of paper produced. Developing transgenic Leucaena with altered lignin by genetic engineering demands an optimized regeneration system. The present study deals with optimization of regeneration system for L. leucocephala cv. K636. Multiple shoot induction from the cotyledonary nodes of L. leucocephala was studied in response to cytokinins, thidiazuron (TDZ) and N(6)-benzyladenine (BA) supplemented in half strength MS (½-MS) medium and also their effect on in vitro rooting of the regenerated shoots. Multiple shoots were induced from cotyledonary nodes at varied frequencies depending on the type and concentration of cytokinin used in the medium. TDZ was found to induce more number of shoots per explant than BA, with a maximum of 7 shoots at an optimum concentration of 0.23 µM. Further increase in TDZ concentration resulted in reduced shoot length and fasciation of the shoots. Liquid pulse treatment of the explants with TDZ did not improve the shoot production further but improved the subsequent rooting of the shoots that regenerated. Regenerated shoots successfully rooted on ½-MS medium supplemented with 0.54 µM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Rooted shoots of Leucaena were transferred to coco-peat and hardened plantlets showed ≥ 90 % establishment in the green house.