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ABSTRACT: Daucus carota subsp. halophilus, is a wild crop relative of domestic carrot. It is an aromatic plant widely used in folk medicine due to recognized therapeutic properties of its essential oils. Experiments were carried out to evaluate the potential of in vitro propagation techniques to the conservation of this endemic and endangered taxon. The results showed that shoot tips of in vitro germinated seeds were able to proliferate in the presence of benzyladenine, with the best results being achieved using 4.4µM, both in the first and second cultures. Shoots rooted after being transferred to 1/2- Murashige and Skoog basal medium. The results indicated that the concentration of benzyladenine used during the multiplication phase did not interfere with the rate of root formation. The obtained plantlets were morphologically and anatomically identical to those obtained by seeds. Some of the in vitro produced shoots developed flowers that produced viable pollen. Plant regeneration was also achieved by somatic embryogenesis induction in cotyledons and root segments cultured in the presence of 4.5µM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Somatic embryos converted into plantlets in a medium without growth regulators. Plants obtained either by shoot proliferation or somatic embryogenesis were acclimatized and are now growing at the Coimbra Botanical Garden. The first attempts to reintroduce these plants in the original habitat were successful. It can be concluded that the protocols developed are a useful approach to the conservation of this endemic species.

In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.—Plant (2010) 46:47–56
Category: Conservation
Authors: AT Tavares, LR Salgueiro, JM Canhoto
Publication Year: 2010

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