Submitted to: Agricultural Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2012
Publication Date: 11/1/2012
Citation: Malik, N.S., Perez, J.L., Kunta, M. 2012. The effect of leaf presence on the rooting of stem cutting of bitter melon and on changes in polyamine levels. Agricultural Sciences. 3(7):936-940. Interpretive Summary: Bitter melon (Memoridica charantia L.) is also known as bitter gourd and is grown in tropical and subtropical climates of India, Pakistan, China and other South Asian countries as vegetable for food and medicinal purposes. It has a bitter taste but still considered a delicacy in Indian-subcontinent culinary for a special taste and high nutritive value, and therefore, it is generally sold as a premium priced vegetable. In addition to being a high valued vegetable, bitter melon is used for numerous medicinal purposes and is renowned for its antidiabetic or glucose lowering effects. Owing to its importance as prized vegetable and effective herbal medicine, researchers have been interested to improve its propagation, production, and processing techniques. Propagation through tissue culture has the advantage of mass production and the ability to produce possible transformation but the technique requires sophisticated laboratories facilities. This study was conducted to develop optimum conditions for rooting bitter melon cuttings for mass production of plantlets with minimum facilities at the farm. Our preliminary experiments indicated that presence of leaf may be an important factor in rooting bitter melon cuttings and therefore experiments were conducted to evaluate the role of leaf on rooting. Our Results indicate that the presence of leaf with the stem cutting was necessary for optimal rooting, furthermore an increase in the levels of putresine was also noted. The cuttings that did not have leaf did not show an increase in putrescine levels and did not produce roots. Spermidine levels also increased in the cuttings that rooted but there was no change in the levels spermine in the cuttings that rooted.
Technical Abstract: The study was conducted to investigate the optimal hormone treatment for rooting in bitter melon and the effect of defoliation on rooting and polyamine levels. Commercial preparation (diluted 1:10 and 1: 20) gave extensive rooting within five days after treatment. The presence of leaf with the stem cutting was necessary for optimal rooting as defoliation drastically reduced rooting even when the rooting time was extended from 5 to 10 days. The presence of leaf also promoted the levels of putrescine three days after the hormone treatment just at the time of root emergence. The cuttings that did not have leaf did not show an increase in putrescine levels and did not produce roots. Spermidine levels also increased in the cuttings that rooted but there was no change in the levels spermine in the cuttings that rooted. It appears that putrescine and spermidine play a role in regulating rooting in bitter melon cuttings. The vegetative propagation conditions described show that it is a practically viable technique for small growers to produce large number of plantlets at the farm for selection and cultivation.