Seed germination and in vitro regeneration of the African medicinal and pesticidal plant, Bobgunnia madagascariensis

  • BLK Thokozani
  • D Zulu
  • CW Sileshi
  • Z Teklehaimanot
  • DSB Gondwe
  • V Sarasan
  • P Stevenson
Keywords: Axillary shoot multiplication, gibberellic acid, in vitro regeneration, seed germination, Swartzia.


Propagation of the medicinal and pesticidal tree, Bobgunnia madagascarensis is difficult due to poor and erratic germination of its seeds and slow growth of its seedlings. This study involved two separate experiments. The first evaluated the effect of pre-sowing treatments and growing medium on ex vitro seed germination and early seedling development. The second experiment involved in vitro germination, shoot initiation and rooting of shoots. Pre-sowing seed treatments involved soaking seeds in cold and hot water for 12 and 24 h and soaking in different concentrations (0, 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/l) of gibberellic acid for 24 h. Soaking of seeds in cold or hot water for up to 24 h did not achieve more than 45% germination, while seeds treated with gibberellic acid achieved <20% germination rates. On the other hand, in vitro procedures achieved 30 to 70% germination of seeds. Seedling survival of ex-vitro germinated seeds was higher (>76%) when seeds were sown in a growing medium without compost compared with a medium with compost (<43%). All shoot-tips isolated from the in vitro germinated seedlings on B5 media without plant growth regulators continued to grow as a single shoot, while shoot-tips cultured on B5 supplemented with 0.1 mg/l of naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and thidiazuron (TDZ) produced two shoots each after four weeks. It was concluded that B. madagascariensis seeds had very low ex vitro germination percentages. Although, in vitro cultures improved seed germination, axillary shoot multiplication and rooting were not satisfactory. Therefore, further studies are needed to develop an optimal in vitro multiplication protocol for B. madagascariensis.

Key words: Axillary shoot multiplication, gibberellic acid, in vitro regeneration, seed germination, Swartzia.


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eISSN: 1684-5315