Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research
Title: Amending storage vessel and media improves transfer interval of Musa spp. tissue culture plantlets Authors
Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 12, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Bananas and plantains are economically important food crops. The USDA-ARS TARS site maintains, evaluates and distributes a collection of genetically diverse banana and plantain accessions. Clonally propagated stock is maintained in laboratories as a backup to the field site plants and for distribution purposes. In order to reduce efforts and resources required for routine propagation of plants, experiments were designed to increase the efficiency and intervals between regenerations. Modifications to media as well as storage vessel were performed on a set of diverse banana germplasm accessions. A number of treatment modifications showed increased times between regenerations without negatively affecting plant vigor. A few treatments more than doubled the current standard time between transfers with one treatment (plastic culture bags) having the added benefit of being distributed in a non-breakable vessel.
Technical Abstract: Musa spp. are some of the most important fruit food crops in the world. The USDA-ARS TARS maintains a Musa spp. germplasm collection of ~150 accessions in field plots and in medium-term storage in vitro. Accessions maintained in vitro require routine sub-culturing as nutrient medium is lost due to uptake by the plant. Transfer intervals are carried out every six months and the transfer process is a resource and time consuming effort. To lengthen the transfer interval, an experiment was conducted to evaluate storage medium modifications and storage vessels on four Musa spp. accessions. Treatments consisted of glass tubes, glass tubes with Parafilm® and plastic culture bags with three mediums: Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium, ½ strength MS and MS with 4% D-mannitol. Treatment effects were estimated by measuring plantlet quality, shoot and leaf number and rooting on a monthly basis. For all formulations and for all accessions, the plantlets grown in glass tubes + Parafilm® and in culture bags showed significantly increased sub-culture intervals. The ½ MS treatment initially retarded plantlet development and showed the shortest storage time for all accessions. Storage time could be extended to 12 months with tissue culture bags to 16 months with sealed tubes. The simplicity of using culture bags for distribution purposes was identified as an additional advantage.