Synthetic Seed Technology for Encapsulation and Regrowth of in vitro Derived Stevia rebaudiana Bert. nodal Segments
Synthetic seed technology is an alternative to traditional micropropagation for production and delivery of cloned plantlets. Regrowth of nodal segments of Stevia rebaudiana Bert. after encapsulation in calcium alginate matrix was evaluated. These nodal segments were derived from in vitro cultured shoots. Encapsulation was performed with 5% sodium alginate and 50 mM CaCl2. Morphogenic response and percentage of conversion into plantlets of encapsulated buds on various planting media was tested. Encapsulated explants exhibited the best regrowth and conversion frequency on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with TDZ (0.5µM) under in vitro conditions with 85% survival rate. Plantlets regenerated from the encapsulated explants were hardened off and successfully transferred to soil. Acknowledgements: The work was supported by United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Specific Cooperative Agreement No. 58 – 6408 – 02 – 1-612.