Observations on in vitro behaviour of the zygotic axes of fluted pumpkin

  • SA Ajayi
  • P Berjak
  • JI Kioko
  • ME Dulloo
  • RS Vodouhe
Keywords: Fluted pumpkin, embryonic axes, greening, microbial contamination


Fluted pumpkin, Telfairia occidentalis Hook. f., is an important leaf and seed vegetable and a local medicinal plant across West Africa. Many biological constraints have become potent threats to the existence of the plant necessitating an urgent need to collect and conserve the existing narrow genetic diversity. However, conservation by seed storage is impossible because the seed is recalcitrant, that is desiccation- and chilling-sensitive. Micropropagation is the only immediate alternative option for the conservation of fluted pumpkin germplasm. In order to facilitate this, the behaviour of excised embryonic axes and shoot tips of fluted pumpkin under in vitro conditions were investigated. Systemic infection of seeds from field led to frequent and high microbial contamination in culture. There was interaction between the type of microbial contamination and the storage environment of seeds prior to excision of the axes. Axes greened under low light intensity and root growth was dependent on the orientation of the axes. In general, zygotic axes of the plant are easy to grow in vitro under a range of nutrient media and culture conditions

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eISSN: 1684-5315