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Improving acclimatization through the photoautotrophic culture of coconut (Cocos nucifera) seedlings: an in vitro system for the efficient exchange of germplasm

Research paper by Yohannes M. S. Samosir, Steve Adkins

Indexed on: 26 Apr '14Published on: 26 Apr '14Published in: In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Plant : journal of the Tissue Culture Association



Abstract

An in vitro photoautotrophic step based on the supply of CO2-enriched air (1,600 μmol mol−1) during the light phase and ambient air (350 μmol mol−1 CO2) during the dark phase has been used to promote the ex vitro establishment of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) seedlings. The introduction of this step into a previously developed in vitro protocol was found to improve the quality of the seedlings (as assessed by fresh weight increase, physical stature, leaf area and thickness, stomatal density, and chlorophyll a content, and primary and secondary root production), the proportion of seedlings successfully transferred to soil (improvement from 40% to 100%) and achieved in a shorter time (reduction from 10 to 6 mo). Best results using this photoautotrophic growth step were obtained when a low medium concentration of sucrose (43.8 mM or lower) was used, when it was applied to seedlings that had already reached 4 or 5 mo of age in the in vitro culture step, and when seedlings were cultured in the photoautotrophic system for 2 mo or more before transfer to soil. Our improved protocol is more efficient and it reduces the cost per plant for the international exchange of coconut germplasm.