Micropropagation of Withania frutescens: One way to recover reduced or extinct plant populations in the Balearic Islands

Aurora M. Castilla, Geert Olyslaegers, Alberto Gosá, Rita Henriques, Jean Pierre Verbelen

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We established a rapid and inexpensive micropropagation protocol for the Solanaceae plant Withania frutescens in order to produce a large stock of plant material that can be used for conservation and research programs. This plant has an important ecological value but it has a restricted distribution in the Balearic archipelago (Mediterranean, Spain). Shoot tips and internodia were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with different auxins and cytokinins. The best medium producing shoot induction, was the control MS with no growth regulators added (94 %). This is very convenient due to the associated advantage of reduction in production costs. Production of roots was best (75 %) on the MS supplemented with indol butiric acid (IBA). The combination of NAA and BAP produced the highest mortality (38 %) of explants. Withania frutescens was successfully regenerated in vitro from nodal shoot segments excised from young seedlings. Acclimatization and survival of plantlets was very high (100 %). The results of our study will allow producing a stock of plant material in short time and that can be used for conservation and research programs in order to maintain the natural diversity of plants in the small islands of the Balearic archipelago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalBolleti de la Societat d'Historia Natural de les Balears
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011



  • Conservation
  • Islands
  • Micropropagation
  • Nodal explants
  • Rare plants
  • Tissue culture
  • Withania frutescens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Geology

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