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In Vitro Propagation and Preservation of Cherry Birch (Betula lenta L.)

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Title: In Vitro Propagation and Preservation of Cherry Birch (Betula lenta L.)
Author: Rathwell, Ricki
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: Saxena, Praveen
Abstract: Cherry birch (Betula lenta L.) is an endangered species in Canada. Protocols were developed for the in vitro propagation and preservation of cherry birch. In vitro technologies facilitate conservation, restoration, and replenishment of endangered plants. Micropropagation involved shoot bud culture initiation, shoot multiplication, rooting, and acclimatization in greenhouse. Optimum shoot growth was achieved with medium supplemented with 6-benzylaminopurine (5 μM). 80% of shoots developed roots on medium enriched with indole-3-butyric acid (20 μM). Rooted plantlets were acclimatized in the greenhouse with a 37% survival rate. Cryopreservation techniques were developed using seeds and shoot tips. Seeds were cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen, and germinated in the greenhouse (21-24%) and under in vitro conditions (12.5%). Droplet vitrification protocol developed for shoot tips resulted in 12 to 13% survival after cryopreservation. These protocols will ensure long-term conservation of cherry birch and help bring this species back from the brink of extinction in Canadian ecosystems.
Date: 2015-08
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