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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 29


Brent McCown and Ron Amos

pp: 387-392

The rapid multiplication of Betula platyphylla var. azechuanica by micropropagation using shoot-tip cultures has been demonstrated on a commercially-feasible basis. Shoot-tips and nodal explants placed on Greeshof-Doy nutrient agar medium supplemented with 4µm benzyladenine produced actively growing shoot cultures within 6 months. Stocks could be maintained or increased by monthly subculturing after removal of the elongating shoots and division of the resultant shoot-mass. Twenty to 30 utilizable shoots could be harvested from each culture in 6 to 8 weeks after subculturing. Harvested shoots rooted with 100% success within 2 weeks when placed in peat/perlite in a rooting chamber. After a period of acclimation, these plants could be treated like young seedlings in commercial production. A comparison of the field growth of seedling and micropropagated birch showed that both had identical growth rates in the spring and summer; however the microprogated plants stopped growth one month earlier than the average seedlings. This resulted in the micropropagated plants having a smaller size at grading than the seedlings. Whether this difference was genetic or a result of the propagation technique is unknown. The micropropagated plants were highly uniform in growth and grade as compared to the seedling propagated plants.

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