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Plant regeneration of Nerium oleander L. from alginate-encapsulated shoot explants after short-term cold storage

Hatzilazarou, Stefanos, Kostas, Stefanos, Economou, Athanasios S.
Journal of horticultural science & biotechnology 2019 v.94 no.4 pp. 441-447
Nerium oleander, acclimation, artificial seeds, calcium chloride, clones, cold storage, encapsulation, explants, germination, greenhouses, indole butyric acid, liquids, micropropagation, shoot tips, sodium alginate, storage temperature
In this study, an efficient protocol for the regeneration of encapsulated explants of oleander (Nerium oleander L.) has been developed. Shoot tips and 1st nodal segments below the shoot tip, from in vitro-derived oleander microshoots, were encapsulated in 2.5% sodium alginate prepared in liquid MS sucrose-free nutrient medium and hardened in 50 mM of calcium chloride producing solid beads, uniform in shape. These artificial seeds, irrespective of their maintenance under light or in darkness, germinated at frequencies of 38.8–42.2%, producing 3.0–3.3 microshoots per bead. In the case of using 100 mM of calcium chloride for hardening, the beads were firm, of uniform globular shape and suitable for handling, exhibiting a germination response of 68.9%. Encapsulated shoot tip explants, following storage at 4°C for 8 weeks, exhibited a higher regeneration response (60.0%) than non-encapsulated similar explants stored under the same conditions (11.1%). Microshoots, excised from cold-stored encapsulated explants after germination, rooted easily in agar-solidified MS medium with 2 μΜ IBA and after their transplantation into a peat-perlite substrate (3:1, v/v), were acclimatised successfully and established in the greenhouse with minimal losses. The present encapsulation procedure could be applied as an alternative method of micropropagation of desirable elite clones of oleander.