A. Rajewski, H. Wetzstein, Donglin Zhang
River cane, switch cane, and the newly identified hill cane, are the three species that make up the genus Arundinaria (Ohrnberger, 1999; Triplett, 2006). This genus of temperate woody bamboos is native only to North America and typically grows along waterways or in marshlands forming dense stands called canebrakes. These canebrakes have a dense system of rhizomes, which act as an effective riparian buffer to prevent excess nitrogen, in the form of agricultural runoff, from entering waterways. This dense network of rhizomes also helps to prevent erosion of river and stream banks. Beyond purely environmental benefits, ecologically, canebrakes form a unique habitat for many species of cane-obligate butterflies as well as many rare bird species (Platt et al., 2013).
Currently, the genus Arundinaria is sparsely distributed in 22 states of the southeastern United States. Although its distribution is wide, it is reported that the genus has suffered massive habitat loss due to altered burning regimes, conversion to farmland, and overgrazing. In fact, many historical accounts report canebrakes up to 20 miles long and ½ mile wide (Platt and Brantley, 1997); however, since European settlement of North America, the size of canebrakes has shrunken by an estimated 98% (Noss et al., 1995).
Successful large-scale propagation of Arundinaria would be of great interest to conservationists and to managers carrying out native plant restoration efforts, but large-scale propagation is fraught with many challenges. Biologically, seed-based bamboo propagation is not a viable option due to extremely long times to maturity and irregular flowering (Hughes, 1951; Janzen, 1976). Vegetative macropropagation is technically simple, but finding, harvesting, cleaning, transporting, and replanting rhizomes is extremely logistically difficult and very time sensitive. In vitro micropropagation would offer the possibility of generating large numbers of transplantable plants without the uncertainties in material acquisition, but bamboos are notoriously difficult to disinfest and any micropropagation system requires optimization. Our objective was to test procedures to successfully disinfest Arundinaria for in vitro micropropagation and to characterize its growth in vitro for later use in larger scale propagation experiments.
Rajewski, A., Wetzstein, H. and Donglin Zhang, (2015). STERILIZATION AND IN VITRO GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ARUNDINARIA©. Acta Hortic. 1085, 477-481
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1085.97

Acta Horticulturae