IN VITRO PROPAGATION OF CONRADINA ETONIA
Peterson, Cheryl L.
Weigel, Russell C.
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Conservation institutions worldwide such as the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew (U.K.) have frequently used in vitro propagation (micropropagation) as a valuable tool to support the conservation of some threatened and endangered species. Although many of the endemic species of Florida 's scrub ecosystem are extremely rare, they have not been widely researched using tissue culture techniques. In this paper, the amenability of Conradina etonia, an endangered scrub mint species, to in vitro growth and propagation was investigated using shoot tips. Callus formed and grew rapidly in the presence of both cytokinins and auxins. Rhizogenesis from callus occurred in both the presence and absence of growth regulators. Induction of axillary shoots from the main explant stem occurred on media containing 3.0 mg/L 6-[y,y-dimethylallylamino]purine + 0.3 mg/L indole-3-acetic acid. When excised and placed on fresh media, these shoots produced three to four adventitious shoots each. Subculturing the adventitious shoots onto media devoid of growth regulators resulted in stem elongation, leaf production, and occasionally root formation. The results suggest that micropropagation may be an option for the propagation of this species.