Use of sugarcane bagasse as an alternative low-cost support material during the rooting stage of apple micropropagation

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Abstract

Studies were carried out to evaluate sugarcane bagasse as an alternative to agar for micropropagation of apple clones to reduce the cost of micropropagation and improve the quality of the propagules. Significant improvement in the in vitro rooting process, coupled with cost reduction, were obtained by the use of sugarcane bagasse as a substitute for the traditionally used agar-gelled medium. The tests were undertaken with micro-cuttings of the apple rootstock Marubakaido (Malus prunifolia Borkh.) using a rooting medium composed of half-strength Murashige and Skoog salts and vitamins, 3% (w/v) sucrose, and 0.49 μM indole-3-butyric acid. The plants grown on sugarcane bagasse yielded a 22% increase in root length, 20% increase in plant length, and 63% increase in the number of roots, compared with agar-grown micro-cuttings. Particle size of the sugarcane bagasse had a significant impact on all those parameters, and the best results were obtained with bagasse comprising particles smaller than 0.18 mm. The results demonstrated that the sugarcane bagasse could be used effectively as a substitute for agar during rooting of apple shoots.

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