In vitro regeneration of the important North American oak species Quercus alba,Quercus bicolorand Quercus rubra
Vieitez, A.M.; Corredoira, E.; Ballester, A.; Munoz, F.; Duran, J.; Ibarra, M.
Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 98(2): 135-145
ISSN/ISBN: 0167-6857 DOI: 10.1007/s11240-009-9546-6
North American oak species, with their characteristic strong episodic seasonal shoot growth, are highly problematic for clonal micropropagation, resulting in the inability to achieve a stabilized shoot multiplication stage. The potential for initiating and proliferating shoot cultures derived from Quercus alba, Q. bicolor and Q. rubra explants was investigated, and a micropropagation method for these species was developed. Branch segments from 6 to 7-year-old trees were forced-flushed and the forced shoots were used as source of explants for culture initiation. A consistent shoot multiplication stage was achieved, in 13 of the 15 genotypes established in vitro, although marked differences occurred in explants from different genotypes/species. The control of efficient shoot multiplication involved the culture of decapitated shoots in a stressful horizontal position on cytokinin-containing medium with a sequence of transfers within a 6-week subculture cycle, which was beneficial to overcoming the episodic character of shoot growth. During each subculture cycle, the horizontally placed explants were cultured on media containing 0.2 mg l−1 benzyladenine (BA) for 2 weeks with two successive transfers (2 weeks each) to fresh medium with 0.1 mg l−1 BA, giving a 6-week subculture cycle. The general appearance and vigor of Q. alba and Q. bicolor shoot cultures were improved by the inclusion of both 0.1 mg l−1 Ba and 0.5 mg l−1 zeatin in the medium used for the second transfer within the 6-week subculture cycle. Addition of Ag NO3 (3 mg l−1) to the shoot proliferation medium of Q. rubra had a significant positive effect on shoot development pattern by reducing deleterious symptoms, including shoot tip necrosis and early senescence of leaves. The three species showed acceptable in vitro rooting rates by culturing microcuttings in medium containing 25 mg l−1 indolebutyric acid for 48 h with subsequent transfer to auxin-free medium supplemented with 0.4% activated charcoal. Although an initial 5-day dark period generally improved the rooting response, it was detrimental to the quality of regenerated plantlets. However, activated charcoal stimulated not only the rooting frequencies, but it also enhanced plant quality, as evidenced by root, shoot and leaf growth.