Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Protocol for commercial micro-propagation of selected elite trees of Fraxinus excelsior

The main task has been to scale up "in vitro" production of selected ash material which was provided by research Institutes, and to produce a number of clones for field-testing. Together with the scaling up, knowledge will be given about commercial aspects of propagation.

Through the period 2002 - 2004 we established shoot-producing cultures from five selected lines of ash. More than 1500 explants have been established in this period but many were lost due to contamination and unsatisfactory concentrations of Thidiazuron (TDZ). Subsequently all elongated shoots were transferred to WPM, 5 'YM BAP with either 0 or 1 mg/l TDZ, and finally to a media with 0,1V 0,2mg/l TDZ, and this ensured survival rate was increased By adjusting the concentration of TDZ to the minimum necessary for multiplication, shoot elongation occurs on the same medium, and an average multiplication rate close to 3 every 4 week was obtained.

High concentration TDZ in the multiplication medium gave better rooting on media without cytokinins, but by using an elongation medium (without cytokinin) the best rooting was by using both auxin and cytokinin (WPM 1/10). For a range of clones, in general the best rooting was achieved with the combination of 1 'YM BAP and 10 ’YM IBA .In January 2004, over 400 plants per clone of 2 selected clones were transferred to the soil and grew successfully and were transferred back to the Institutes for planned field tests.

From an economical point of view it is preferable to use cutting from "ex vitro" plants, so cuttings were tested in a commercial nursery. Apical and nodal cuttings about 10cm long were taken on motherplants 2 months after the weaning. Rooting was 80-90% for apical cuttings and 40- 68% for nodal cuttings. The knowledge about the specific demand in the forestry market for different clones are not yet known, however, in principle and practise we have shown it is possible to rejuvenate adult clones, and that subsequent propagation by cutting is possible.

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