In Vitro Propagation of Three Moroccan Prickly Pear Cactus Opuntia and Plant Establishment in Soil
Opuntia is one of the most widespread cacti, primarily due to their edible fruit and vegetable mass used as feed. The high demand for young plants of Opuntia made it necessary to find a rapid method of multiplication of the cactus, the safest method consisting in vitro micropropagation of species belonging to this genus. With aim of large production of plant material, a propagation system of three important prickly pear cactus cultivar ( Opuntia ficus-indica ) in Morocco was developed. Segments of healthy young cladode (containing one areole) were cultivated in Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) containing adenine sulfate (40 mg/1), monosodium phosphate (50 mg/l), sucrose (50 g/l), phytagel (0.3%) and benzyladenine (BA) at 22.2 μM, to start the process of micropropagation. In vitro-developed shoots from areoles were used as secondary explants to induce shoot development in the MS medium with 5 mg/l of BA. All of the three studied cultivars showed an important multiplication rate in this medium. ‘Sidi Ifni M’ (‘Moussa’) cultivar shows the greatest number of shoots followed by ‘Sidi Ifni A’ (‘Aissa’) and ‘Delahia’ 17.26, 14.12 and 12.13 respectively. Rooting of in vitro -generated shoots was achieved most efficiently on half-strength MS basal medium supplemented with 0.5 mg/l of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or IAA. Rooting frequencies were in the range from 95 to 100% and the highest mean number of root (19.1) was obtained with IBA for ‘Delahia’ cultivar. All micropropagated plants were transferred to greenhouse and all of them survived acclimatization process and showed good overall growth.
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