Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Review of Tissue Proliferation of Rhododendron

Author
item Zimmerman, Richard

Submitted to: Proc Int'L Symp Bacterial & Bacteria-Like Contaminates Plant Tissue Culture
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 6, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Review Article - No Interpretive Summary required.

Technical Abstract: Tissue proliferation (TP) is a disorder characterized by gall- like growths on the lower stems of rhododendron plants; the TP galls sometimes produce numerous adventitious shoots. TP is usually first observed on 2-3 year old plants, but it can develop on younger ones. Although the TP growths resemble and have been confused with crown gall, current evidence indicates that it is not crown gall. Gall formation has not been induced following inoculation with numerous strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Galls are found primarily on micropropagated plants, but have also been observed on plants never tissue cultured including seedlings. The disorder appears to be genotype related, with some cultivars frequently affected and others rarely if ever showing the problem. Although TP was originally observed on elepidote rhododendrons, it sometimes occurs on lepidotes and on Kalmia. High cytokinin levels in the proliferation medium may be implicated in the occurrence of TP in micropropagated plants and have resulted in cytokinin habituation in cultures of one cultivar. Plants produced from adventitious shoots, easily obtained with high cytokinin concentrations, may be more likely to develop TP. Some species of Rhododendron and other ericaceous plants naturally form lignotubers and these species may also be more prone to exhibit TP. Nursery practices, such as high fertilization levels and use of some growth regulators and herbicides appear to increase the incidence of TP, as do high temperatures in the root zone and water stress.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page