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Sharmistha Naik, Poonam and Vishal Rana

Department of Fruit Science, Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230, India.

Key words: Kiwifruit, pollen storage, pollen viability, in vitro pollen germination, absolute pollen viability, TTC staining.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 128-132.

Abstract: Insufficient pollination due to asynchrony between staminate and pistillate blossoms in kiwifruit and unfavourable environmental conditions results in reduced fruit size and unequal fruit shape. In the present investigation an attempt was made to develop a simple and reliable method for storage of kiwifruit pollen and their utilization in hand pollination in following year. Pollen were stored at different temperatures [room temperature (25 ? 2 0C), 4, 0 and -20 0C] for a period of one year. Pollen viability was determined at monthly intervals using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining and percent in vitro germination using 14 % sucrose,1.7 mM calcium nitrate and 3mM Boric acid. Initial TTC stainability (78.83 %), in vitro germination (65.55%) and absolute viability (51.72 %) of fresh pollen went on reducing with storage periods. -20 0C was the best temperature at which maximum viability of kiwifruit pollen can be retained up to one year. Pollination using pollen stored for one year showed that pollen stored at -20 0C were able to set 100 % fruits, pollen stored at 0 0C could set 36 % fruits, while there was no fruit setting with pollen stored at room temperature and 4 0C. These findings have practical implications for kiwifruit production in India. Artificial pollination with stored pollen can circumvent several uncertainties of natural pollination and guarantee adequate pollination in kiwifruit.
C.S. Ravi, B.S. Sreeramu, A.P. Mallikarjuna Gowda and G.R. Smitha

Department of Horticulture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra, Bengaluru-560065, Karnataka, India.

Key words: Germplasm, growth, heritability, makoi, quality, yield.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 133-137.

Abstract: Evaluation of seventeen genotypes of makoi (Solanum nigrum L.) revealed maximum dry herbage yield in MG-1 (209.07 g) followed by MG-14 (161.73 g). While, for total alkaloid content the genotype MG-13 (0.23 % w/w) recorded highest followed by MG-16 (0.22 %w/w). The genotype MG-14 had maximum total alkaloid yield (12.26 kg ha-1) followed by MG-13 (11.91 kg ha-1). Result of genetic studies revealed that phenotypic coefficient of variation was higher than genotypic coefficient of variation for all the traits studied, indicating environmental influence on expression of these characters. Both GCV and PCV were high for total alkaloid yield, moderate to high for remaining traits and low for days to maturity. High heritability coupled with high genetic advance was recorded for leaf area, total alkaloid content and total alkaloid yield indicating the presence of additive gene effects. Hence, selection can be employed for improvement of these characters in makoi. Dry herbage yield per plant was found to be positive and highly significant genotypic association with fresh herbage yield, leaf area, number of leaves, plant spread and plant height and significant with total alkaloid content. The total alkaloid yield had positive and highly significant genotypic correlation with total alkaloid content. The total alkaloid yield had the maximum direct positive effect on dry herbage yield followed by number of leaves and fresh herbage yield. The total alkaloid content and dry herbage yield had the maximum direct effect on total alkaloid yield.
M.R. Choudhary, S. Dadheech, S.P. Singh and R.S. Dhaka

S.K.N. College of Agriculture, Jobner, Distt. Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Key words: Drying, magnesium oxide, blanching, solar drier, NEB, organoleptic acceptance.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 138-141.

Abstract: Dried lasoda fruits are generally used as off-season vegetable in kitchen for preparing curry, pickle, 'Pachkutta', a special five star hotel dish and snacks. The aim of the study was to determine effect of concentration of magnesium oxide and drying method on quality attributes of lasoda fruits viz., protein content, ascorbic acid, organoleptic acceptance, solid gain ratio and minimum non-enzymatic browning (NEB). Mature, green and uniform sized lasoda fruits were selected and blanched in various concentrations of magnesium oxide (0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 %) before drying and dried under different drying methods (open sun, solar and oven). The statistically better quality dried lasoda fruits were obtained when blanched with 0.2 % magnesium oxide solution and dried in a solar drier.
Margaret Chiipanthenga,, Moses Maliro, Paul Demo, Joyce Njoloma, and Navin Khumar

Bunda college of Agriculture, University of Malawi

Key words: Aeroponics, tissue culture, potato genotypes, potato seed, potato, Solanum tuberosum

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 142-146.

Abstract: Potato yields in developing countries are below potential yield because potato production is mainly constrained by lack of quality seed. Lack of potato seed systems to provide farmers with quality clean and certified potato seed has led majority of farmers save their own seed. Such potato seed is characterized by systemic viral and bacterial diseases that are transmitted from generation to generation and this leads to low crop yields. The study was aimed at exploring the use of tissue culture and aeroponics techniques in the production of quality potato seed. Potato plantlets were produced in the tissue culture laboratory at Bvumbwe Research Station, 15? 41' 0" South, 35? 8' 0" East in Thyolo district of Malawi and then transferred to an aeroponics facility at Njuli Estate, 15? 41' 0" South, 35? 8' 0" East in Chiradzulu district of Malawi. The four potato genotypes did not differ on plant growth performance, but responded differently to aeroponics system in terms of mini tuber yield and stolon numbers. Genotypes CIP381381.20 and CIP381381.13 showed superiority among the other tested genotypes in terms of tuber number per plant. Genotype CIP381381.20 produced significantly higher number of stolons than the rest. In this study, on an average 30 tubers were produced per plant under aeroponics system which is six times more than the conventional (use of soil-based substrate) seed potato production system under screen house conditions (5 tubers per plant) under Malawian conditions.
S. Chehaibi, B. Douh, El B. Mohandes Dridi and M.W. Hadj Bechir

Higher Institute of Agronomy of Chott Meriem, University of Sousse, Tunisia

Key words: Mechanical planting densities, mechanical planting depths, organic potatoes, yield, leaf area

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 147-149.

Abstract: Demand for organic produce is expected to increase due to increasing concern in urban society about food quality. However, crop management options are extremely limited in an organic system, often leading to reduced yields. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different mechanical planting densities (3.05 and 3.91 plant/m2) and depths (0.07 and 0.12 m) on the agronomic parameters under organic culture. Field study was conducted at the Higher Institute of Agronomy of Chott Meriem, Tunisia from February to June. The results indicate that different treatment combinations could affect the vigor and growth of the plant, size of tubers and weight of fresh and dry matter of different plant organs, as well as the final yield. Moreover, it was shown that planting in-row spacing of 0.41 m and depth of 0.12 m improved the growth parameters of the plant. This study showed that there is a relationship between the number of plants per square meter and the crop yield. Indeed, yields with the density of 3.91plant/m2 was higher than that of 3.05 plant/m2 (13.75 and 10.83 t/ha, respectively).
S.M. Chavan, Sushil Kumar and S.S. Arve

Department of Entomology, N.M. College of Agriculture, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari-396 450, Gujarat, India.

Key words: Aphid, Chrysoperla, Helicoverpa, IPM, leaf miner, mirid bug, population dynamics, tomato, Trichogramma,whitefly

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 150-155.

Abstract: Investigation on the population dynamics and evaluation of pest management modules against major insect pests of tomato were carried out at Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, south Gujarat in rabi, 2007-08. Results revealed that aphid and whitefly population commenced from transplanting with 1.35 aphids leaf-1 and 0.37 whiteflies leaf-1, reached to peak level (7.31 aphids leaf-1and 6.01 whiteflies leaf-1) at 11 WAT. Peak level of percent infested leaves by leaf miner was 31.75 % at 10th WAT. The higher population of Helicoverpa on foliage (2.80-3.40 plant1) was noticed during third week of January to end of February (10-16 WAT). The population of mirid bug, which acts as a potential predator of sucking pests reached peak (1.90-2.05 plant-1) when population of aphid and whitefly reached maximum. Correlation studies between insect pest population/damage and weather parameters showed that there was significant negative correlation of aphid (r=-0.491) and whitefly (r=-0.449) with maximum temperature and negative significant correlation with minimum temperature (r=-0.645, r=-0.599). Further, the wind velocity showed significantly positive correlation with aphid (r=0.574) and whitefly (r=0.534) population. The wind velocity gave positive and significant correlation with the population of mirid bug as natural enemies. The IPM module was found most promising in reducing the population of aphids (2.1 leaf-1), whitefly (2.4 leaf-1), Helicoverpa larva (1.0 plant1) on foliage. Besides, it reduced leaf infestation by leaf miner (17.8 %) and fruit infestation by Helicoverpa (15.4 %) and increased yield (36445 kg ha1). The sole insecticidal module was equally effective as IPM module in recording low population of aphids (2.2 leaf-1), whitefly (2.5 leaf-1), Helicoverpa (1.1 plant1), leaf infestation (18.3 %), fruits infestation (16.3 %) and also increased fruit yield (34684 kg ha-1). The biological module and botanical module ranked third and fourth in efficacy with respect to pest control. Besides pest management, population of mirid bugs (0.8 plant-1) as natural enemy was also conserved in IPM module. The net ICBR obtained in IPM module was 1:9.45 which was comparable to the insecticidal module (1:15.92).
Saurabh Kulshrestha, Anshul Sharma and Chandrika Attri Seth

Faculty of Biotechnology, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Bajhol, Solan, HimachalPradesh, India.

Key words: TSWV, Thrips, L RNA, M RNA, S RNA, Intergenic region

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 71-80.

Abstract: Advances in understanding of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) molecular biology are reviewed. TSWV, a type species of the genus Tospovirus, is an enveloped virus that causes high economical losses in many crops worldwide. It is transmitted by several species of thrips and multiplies in insect cells. The most important vector is Frankliniella occidentalis which transmits TSWV in a persistent propagative manner. Several factors are known from both virus and vector side which plays important role in virus acquisition by thrips and its subsequent transfer. TSWV is a segmented negatively strand RNA virus. RNA of TSWV is partitioned among three negative or ambisense single stranded RNA (ssRNA) labeled as L, M and S in order of decreasing size, (approximately 8897, 4821 and 2916 nucleotides long, respectively). These RNA segments encode various proteins like N and Ns by S RNA; NSm and G1/G2 by M RNA and RdRp by L RNA. Intergenic region present in M and S RNA of TSWV helps in proper transcription of different genes encoded by M and S RNA. The different proteins encoded by TSWV genome help the virus in protection, cellular movements, vector transmission, replication and recently in RNA silencing suppressor activity. The present review focuses on basic structure, genome organization, molecular basis of transmission and recent advances in TSWV detection.
Joseph P. Albano, Kim D. Bowman and P. Chris Wilson

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, United States Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, Florida 34945-3030, USA.

Key words: Orange tree, grove, orchard, nutrient toxicity, nutrient deficiency, chelates

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 81-86.

Abstract: Florida citrus groves that have been under continuous production for many years often have high levels of soil-fraction copper (Cu) from the use of Cu-containing fertilizers and pesticides. On such groves, citrus trees may develop Cu toxicity, a disorder that impacts both plant growth and nutrition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the growth and nutritional response of six citrus rootstock seedling varieties grown in sand in 3.8 L containers to increasing concentrations of Cu-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (CuEDTA). Citrus rootstocks included in the study were: 'Swingle' citrumelo [SC (Citrusparadisi x Poncirus trifoliata)], 'Volkamer' lemon [VL (C. volkameriana)], 'Cleopatra' mandarin [CM (Citrus reticulata)], 'Flying Dragon' trifoliate [FD (P trifoliata)], 'US-812' [US812 ('Sunki' mandarin x 'Benecke' trifoliate)], and 'US-897' [US897 (CMx FD)]. Incorporated into a complete nutrient solution, Cu was supplied at 0.05, 0.25, 1.00 and 2.00 mg L-1. Citrus rootstock but not Cu treatment was significant for root and leaf dry mass with FD and VL having the least and greatest total plant dry mass, respectively. Rootstock and Cu treatment was significant for root and leaf Cu. As a mean of Cu treatments, foliar Cu ranged from 4.05 ug g-1 (CM) to 7.74 ug g-1 (US812); and root Cu ranged from 30.18 ug g-1 (FD) to 61.08 ug g-1 (VL). Rootstock but not Cu treatment was significant for Ca, K, Mg, P, Fe, Mn and Zn. 'Volkamer' lemon had significantly higher levels of foliar Ca, K, and Mg than the other rootstocks; and along with US812, the highest level of foliar Fe. For all nutrients analyzed except for Mg, accumulation was greater in roots than in leaves. Magnesium, as a mean of rootstocks, accumulated equally in roots and leaves. Subjective visual observations of plants at harvest for nutrient disorder revealed that young terminal-growth leaves of VL and SC in the highest Cu treatment (2.00 mg L-1) showed few to pronounced symptoms of a micronutrient-type disorder, respectively, that correlated with increasing Cu treatment. Based on visual symptoms in the highest Cu treatment (interveinal chlorosis and leaf/leaflet deformation/cupping), plants segregated as follows from greatest to least expression of the observed micronutrient-like disorder: SC > CM/FD > US812/US897 > VL.
Dennis J. Carey, Barbara A. Fair, Wayne Buhler, Ingram McCall and Brian E. Whipker

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609,

Key words: 6-Benzylaminopurine, N6-Benzyladenine, Configure, cytokinin, meadow sage, plant growth regulator

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 87-89.

Abstract: Foliar sprays of benzyladenine (BA) at concentrations of 100 to 1600 mg L1 were applied 14 days after potting (DAP) onto Salvia nemorosa (L.) Caradonna' to determine if it would increase branching and flowering. At 28 DAP, BA foliar sprays > 400 mg L1 controlled plant height, > 200 mg L1 resulted in smaller plant diameter, 100 mg L1 controlled growth index and inhibited flowering. Phytotoxicity in the form of leaf edge necrosis was observed at 1600 mg L1 BA. Flowering was delayed by two to three weeks with > 400 mg L1 BA, however the plants were more compact, and the total number of flower stalks produced increased by 350 %. Total growing time to achieve maximum increased flower stalk number was an additional 21 days and growers will have to determine if the trade-off of flower delay is worth having more compact plants with 350 % more flowers. In a second experiment, BA was applied 13 DAP as a foliar spray at 0, 125, 250 and 500 mg L-1 to Salvia 'Ultra Violet', Salvia Marcus?, and Salvia 'May Night'. Plant height, number of flowering shoots, and flowering dates were recorded. Growth control effect was not observed with BA on 'Ultra Violet' plants, and control effect was limited and inconsistent for both 'May Night' and Marcus?. Thus, cultivar response to BA varies, and individual trials will have to be conducted to determine BA suitability as a growth enhancer.
Z. Nasr, M.L. Khouja, R. Aini, A. Hammadi, H. Manai and B. Mimouni

Institut National de la Recherche en Genie Rural, Eaux et Forets Rue Hedi Karray, BP10 2080 Ariana - Tunisia

Key words: Biodiesel crops, irrigated jatropha, semi-arid areas, genetic diversity, global warming

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 90-94.

Abstract: Bio-diesel crops are presented as a potential tool to mitigate global warming. However, these crops are often highly water consuming, which limits their use in semi-arid areas. In this respect, the Jatropha is considered by many researchers as the most appropriate species in these dry conditions. The aim of our investigation was to study the possibility of its use in Tunisia regarding its behavior in semi-arid area of the north-west region. Eight provenances of Jatropha curcas L. introduced from Brazilia (5), Surinam (1), Mosambic (1) and Tanzania (1) were compared on the basis of their ecophysiological performance. Results showed variability in photosynthesis, leaf transpiration, chlorophyll content and leaf growth between accessions during the growing season. Average photosynthesis and leaf transpiration values ranged from 7 to 13 Limol m-2 s-1 and from 2.5 to 3.5 mmol m-2 s-1, respectively. Specific dry matter per unit leaf area varied from 50 g m-2 to 90 g m-2. Provenances from the Mozambic and Prana with the lowest biomass per unit leaf area and high photosynthetic capacity are more likely to offer greater productivity in semi-arid zone.
B.D. Pawar, A.S. Jadhav, A.A. Kale, V.P. Chimote and S.V. Pawar

State Level Biotechnology Centre, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, Maharashtra, India.

Key words: Agrobacterium, GUS, transformation, Solanum lycopersicum L.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 95-99.

Abstract: Improved protocol for Agrobacterium mediated transformation of tomato cultivar, "Dhanshree" was developed by optimizing various parameters that affect transformation efficiency. In the present investigation, Agrobacterium strain EHA 105 harboring a pBI121: gus gene construct was used for transformation. The kanamycin concentration was standardized and 50 mg/L was found to be optimum based on lethal effect to the explants. Effect of varying concentration of Agrobacterium on the transformation efficiency of cotyledon explants revealed that the concentration of 0.2 at OD 600 was optimum. Cotyledons proved to be better for transformation as compared to hypocotyls and leaf explants. Highest transformation efficiency was obtained in 7-14 days old cotyledon which was precultured for one day on the MS medium containing 2 mg/L zeatin and 0.2 mg/L IAA. It was then co-cultivated with Agrobacterium for 3 days on the same medium composition used for preculture. Subsequently the explants were transferred to selective shooting medium supplemented with 50 mg/L kanamycin, 250 mg/L cefotaxime and 250 mg/L carbenicillin. These explants were maintained for 6-8 weeks which resulted in more than 12 % transformation efficiency as judged by GUS assay technique.
F.R. Torpy, P.J. Irga, D. Moldovan, J. Tarran and M.D. Burchett

Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Group, Centre for Environmental Sustainability, School of the Environment, Faculty of Science, University of Technology, Sydney; PO Box 123 Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia

Key words: VOC, microorganisms, indoor air quality, indoor plants, Biolog EcoPlate, biostimulation

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 10-15.

Abstract: Over 900 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been detected in indoor air, where they cause acute and chronic health problems to building occupants. Potted-plants can significantly reduce VOC levels in indoor air, the root-zone bacteria of the potting mix effecting most of the VOC biodegradation. In this study, a baseline community level physiological profile (CLPP) was established for the potting mix bacteria of the indoor plant species, Spathiphyllum wallisii 'Petite', using Biolog EcoPlates, to provide information on the functional abilities of this community. Changes in the CLPP resulting from benzene exposure were then determined and following the identification of the carbon sources associated with changes in the CLPP, biostimulant solutions were formulated and applied to fresh potted-plant specimens. Biostimulation of benzene removal was observed, with increases in removal rates of about 15%, providing proof-of-concept for the biostimulation of this process. The findings further elucidate the mechanisms of bacterial activity associated with removal of indoor airborne benzene, and could be applied to increase VOC biodegradation rates, augmenting the uses of indoor plants in improving building environmental quality.
G.O. Nkansah, A.K. Ahwireng, C. Amoatey and A.W. Ayarna

Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre, Institute of Agricultural Research, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

Key words: Grafting, African eggplant, Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum aethiopicum, rootstock, scion, tomato, yield

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 16-20.

Abstract: Field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research farm of the University of Ghana Forest and Horticultural Crop Research Centre (FOHCREC), Okumaning-Kade to investigate the effect of grafting on growth, yield, disease resistance and fruit quality of tomatoes grafted onto two different African eggplant rootstocks. Two commercial tomato varieties ('Tropimech' and 'Roma') were used as scions and two African eggplant varieties ('Aworoworo' and 'Green') were used as rootstocks. The scion/rootstock combinations or treatments were 'Roma/Green', 'Tropimech/Green', 'Roma/Aworoworo', 'Tropimech/Aworoworo', 'Roma/Roma', 'Tropimech/Tropimech', and Roma non-grafted (control) and Tropimech nongrafted (control). The results indicated that, grafted tomatoes on African eggplant rootstocks performed better in terms of growth, yield, earliness, disease incidence and shelf life than non-grafted or control plants. Pooled mean data indicated significant differences in terms of percent fruit set, fruit number and weight among the treatments. Percent fruit set was higher for tomato on Africa eggplant (67.9) compared to the self grafted (58.7) and the control (52.6). Fruit number/plant and yield of tomato on the African eggplant was 16.2 and 1120.7g/plant compared to the control (10.8 and 916g/plant) while the self grafted had 13.2 and 1064.9g/plant, respectively. The shelf life of grafted tomatoes onto egg plant was significantly higher (25.4 days) compared to control (13.6 days). Grafting did not significantly affect Brix (%), pH and acidity of tomato. Grafted plants significantly recorded low disease incidence compared to non-grafted ones. The study indicated that the use of grafting on eggplant in the humid forest zone of Ghana can boost tomato production considerably.
T. Damodaran, Shailendra Rajan, Ram Kumar, D.K. Sharma, V.K. Misra, S.K. Jha and R.B. Rai

Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, RRS, Lucknow, India

Key words: Polyembryony, mango, natural selection, tsunami, Andaman Islands, sodium toxicity, tolerance, sodic soils, mortality

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 21-25.

Abstract: The study includes collection of polyembryonic mango types from tsunami affected areas of the South Andaman district where trees are under natural selection pressure for salt tolerance and screening of collections against high sodium in sodic soils ex situ. Forty two accessions were located and collected on the basis of phenotypic expression and indentation level in tsunami. Out of which 15 diverse polyembryony types from different locations were evaluated for survival and growth in sodic soils of pHe 9.51 and sodium (Na+) 21.20 meq/L at Lucknow. The mortality percentage and relationship between the salt tolerance potential of the selections and Na+ / K+ ratio, root length and shoot length were investigated. Based on mortality in ex situ screening, collected types were classified into different groups. An increase in pH and Na+ concentrations led to higher mortality (96.67 -100.00 %) in polyembronic seedlings when compared to salt tolerant types (3.33-16.678 %). Six accessions GPL-1, GPL-3, ML-3, ML-4, ML-2 and GPL-4 exhibited tolerance to high soil sodium content and pH. Accessions GPL-1 and ML-2 collected from sites affected by inundation of sea water during tsunami under acid saline soil conditions were found to have the highest tolerance level. These accessions accumulated comparatively higher amounts of K+ ions in leaves than other accessions. They also had lower Na+ / K+ ratio which was even lower than the other tolerant collections. The collections demonstrated an increase in the root and shoot length and significant negative correlation with mortality of the seedlings (r= 0.97 and 0.98, respectively). The study revealed the importance of natural selection of mango polyembryony seedlings for salt tolerance and scope of its utilization.
Mona M. Hassan, Ibrahim A. Ibrahim, Mohsen K.H. Ebrahim and Ewald Komor

Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agricultural Research Centre, Giza, Egypt

Key words: activated charcoal, cytokinins, date palm cultivars, shoot formation, somatic embryos

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 26-31.

Abstract: This study presents a procedure for the rapid development of a large number of somatic embryos and shoots from seven date palm cultivars (Barthamuda, Sakkoty, Malkaby, Shamia, Khalas, Barhee and Medjool). Clusters of leaf meristem explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L naphthalene acetic acid and cytokinins (benzyl adenine, kinetin or 2-isopentenyl adenine) at 0.05 or 0.1 mg/L, in the presence or absence of activated charcoal. Regeneration to newly formed embryos and shoot formation was significantly (P<0.05) promoted in all cultivars using a culture medium with 0.05 mg/L benzyl adenine in the absence of activated charcoal. The presence of charcoal was inhibitory to shoot formation in all cases, except on the medium with 0.05 mg/L benzyl adenine, where it stimulated 33% shoot formation. This medium plus activated charcoal is therefore the recommended one for shoot formation. The number of somatic embryos and shoots generated was greatest with cultivars Barthamuda, Barhee and Sakkoty, while Medjool had the lowest number. The healthy shoots were suitable for acclimatization to form plantlets in soil.

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