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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #410394

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Woody Ornamental Plants for Resilient and Sustainable Landscapes

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research

Title: Reliable callus-induced plantlet regeneration from leaf explants of Lagerstroemia speciosa and genetic fidelity assessment through ISSR markers

item WU, BIN - Texas A&M University
item ZHANG, NICHOLAS - Texas A&M University
item DIXON, BENJAMIN - Texas A&M University
item SIERRA, IVAN - Texas A&M University
item KAN, SOFYA - Texas A&M University
item LAYTON, ALANNA - Texas A&M University
item GU, MENGMENG - Colorad0 State University
item Pooler, Margaret
item Duan, Hui
item QIN, HONGMIN - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2024
Publication Date: 6/14/2024
Citation: Wu, B., Zhang, N., Dixon, B., Sierra, I., Kan, S., Layton, A., Gu, M., Pooler, M.R., Duan, H., Qin, H. 2024. Reliable callus-induced plantlet regeneration from leaf explants of Lagerstroemia speciosa and genetic fidelity assessment through ISSR markers. Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture.

Interpretive Summary: Crapemyrtles are the top-selling deciduous flowering tree in the U.S. with over 3 million plants sold annually at a market value of $69.6M, made popular by their reliable mid-summer bloom, diversity of plant sizes and flower color, and ease of cultivation and maintenance. However, crapemyrtles are threatened by an invasive insect species, the crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS), which affects crapemyrtle growth, flowering, and market value by weakening the plant through insect feeding and by accumulation of “sooty mold” on the bark, resulting in up to 50% loss of production. Scientists at Texas A&M University, in collaboration with ARS scientists, developed an efficient and stable system to regenerate a tropical crapemyrtle species (Queen’s crapemyrtle) in tissue culture. This research lays the groundwork for using modern breeding technologies to develop new varieties of crapemyrtle that are resistant to CMBS and other biotic and abiotic stresses.

Technical Abstract: Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia sp.) is the top-selling flowering tree in the U.S. However, threats from arthropod pests, including the recently emerged crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS; Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae), severely jeopardize the aesthetic and production attributes of crapemyrtle. A tropical species, L. speciosa (L.) Pers. (“Queen's Crapemyrtle”) exhibits partial resistance to CMBS and other pests, but conventional breeding to incorporate the characteristics of L. speciosa into existing hybrids remains challenging. Recognizing the potential of tissue culture in facilitating molecular breeding, but also the possibility of undesirable somaclonal variations from in-vitro organogenesis, we utilized leaf explants of L. speciosa to develop a callus-induced regeneration protocol and assessed genetic fidelity of regenerated plantlets using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Using woody plant medium (WPM) supplemented with 0.2 mg/L 2,4-D and 1.0 mg/L 6-BA achieved 97.9% callus induction. Shifting the growth regulators to 10.0 mg/L 6-BA and 0.5 mg/L NAA resulted in 32.4% of callus explants differentiating into adventitious buds. Finally, nodal segment proliferation (94.6%) and new shoot growth was maximized by using WPM supplemented with 1.0 mg/L 6-BA and 0.02 mg/L NAA. Explants rooted 100% using half-strength WPM supplemented with 0.2 mg/L IBA, and acclimatization survival was 98.3%. The ISSR primer analysis revealed 98.7% monomorphic markers, confirming the genetic integrity of the regenerated plantlets. We describe a reliable callus-induced regeneration system for L. speciosa, which will facilitate future molecular breeding and biotechnology to enhance cold hardiness, pest resistance, and other desired traits in this important genus.