Methods of asepsis for in vitro establishment and germination of Eugenia uniflora seeds

J.L. Griffis, M.M. Manners, S.B. Girimurugan
A limited number of scientific studies have been conducted for commercial cultivation of pitanga. Like many fruit crops, clonal propagation of superior selections is highly desirable. However, there are no published studies that have demonstrated a satisfactory micropropagation protocol for this tropical fruit crop. Propagation of improved selections has been limited to grafting, a relatively difficult technique. There are no improved rootstocks available, so even grafted plants may perform differently in the field. To conduct in vitro micropropagation trials, it is often necessary to obtain aseptic material from the recalcitrant seeds and no established protocol for seed asepsis of pitanga is available. Both serious contamination problems and germination failure in tissue culture are not uncommon. This study aimed to define a dependable protocol for surface disinfestation of seeds of Eugenia uniflora for in vitro establishment and germination. Seven protocols were trialed using different rates and/or sequences of disinfestants including 95% ethanol, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC). The experiment was conducted in a split-plot design in controlled-environment growth chambers and repeated. The rates of contamination and successful germination were evaluated at 30, 60 and 90 days after initiation. Vigorously washing fresh seeds in deionized water with Tween 20 overnight, followed by a 1-min dip in 95% ethanol, then 20 min in a 1.5% sodium hypochlorite solution and then 3, 5-min washes in sterile deionized water was the best of the of methods evaluated. After 90 days in culture, 85% of the seeds disinfested with this procedure did not show any contamination and 70% of the seeds had germinated with both a radicle and a plumule evident.
Griffis, J.L., Manners, M.M. and Girimurugan, S.B. (2023). Methods of asepsis for in vitro establishment and germination of Eugenia uniflora seeds. Acta Hortic. 1359, 155-164
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1359.19
micropropagation, Brazilian cherry, hypogeal germination, disinfestant, Surinam cherry

Acta Horticulturae