Improving Ex Vitro Rooting and Acclimatization Techniques for Micropropagated American Chestnut1
Journal of environmental horticulture
Limited rooting and acclimatization success when micropropagating certain hardwood tree species may hinder conservation efforts of certain threatened and endangered species. Restoration efforts for such trees, such as the American chestnut [Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.], require a massive number of plantlets to be produced by micropropagation for testing, initial distribution, and orchard establishment. Therefore, increasing the number and quality of lab-produced plantlets is a key research
... focus. After previously determining that an ex vitro rooting system produced significantly more robust plantlets, we examined extending the time in elongation medium, rooting substrates, exogenous auxin applications, root-promoting substrate soaks, submerging the cut site, and light intensity. The most effective methods included seven weeks in elongation medium, using Jiffy peat pellets soaked in water as the rooting substrate, cutting off callus while submerged, then dipping in 0.31% IBA rooting gel, and placing plantlets in low light of 60 μmol·m-2·s-1 after rooting. By increasing the number of roots and improving acclimatization success, we can ensure that many more blight-tolerant American chestnuts will be available for field studies and eventual public distribution. Demonstrating the ecological safety and blight survival of these trees will help restore this foundational tree species and assist future restoration efforts for other threatened species. Index words: Rooting, ex vitro, American chestnut, Castanea dentata, IBA, substrate. Species used in this study: American chestnut, [Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.]. Chemicals used in this study: IBA (indole-3-butyric acid).