PROPAGATION OF KHAYA ANTHOTHECA: INTERSPECIFIC GRAFTING WITH SWIETENIA MACROPHYLLA AND AIR LAYERING
Swietenia macrophylla yields high-quality wood; however, its vulnerability to extinction coupled with challenges for its cultivation have brought attention to its replacement for alternative species such as the Khaya anthotheca. The species has been recently introduced to South America, with potential for the production of high-quality wood. However, limited background on breeding and efficient strategies for its vegetative propagation exist. Here, we achieved significant results with the
... ults with the application of cleft grafting and air layering for the propagation of K. anthotheca plants grown from seeds. First, we analyzed the compatibility of scions and rootstocks for intraspecific and interspecific cleft grafting combinations of K. anthotheca and S. macrophylla. Second, air layering was performed in K. anthotheca seedlings irrigated with three nutrient solution (100%, 50% and 25% of the initial concentration of nutrients) combined with the application of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) to evaluate adventitious rooting. From cleft grafting, we achieved an overall graft compatibility and survival of 48% after 200 days. However, the interspecific combination of S. macrophylla (scion) and K. anthotheca (rootstock) implicated in no compatibility, while the reciprocal resulted in 52% of compatibility. Through air layering, the irrigation with the nutrient solution with at least 50% of the nutrients concentration and with IBA (3.0 or 8.0 g.L-1) resulted in the best adventitious rooting. Overall, we recommend cleft grafting, except for the combination S. macrophylla (scion) and K. anthotheca (rootstock), with no compatibility. Air layering might also be useful for the propagation of K. anthotheca genotypes in breeding programs.