TISSUE CULTURE IN CHERIMOYA
The cherimoya is a species with a high degree of heterozygosis, which militates against its propagation by seeds. It has also been shown that traditional methods of vegetative propagation are inefficient, due to the low morphogenic potential of this species, especially at the rooting level. To solve these problems, we have applied in vitro tissue culture techniques to micropropagate the cherimoya. In our work we used the ‘Fino de Jete’ variety, which is the major cultivar in Spain.
After developing methodologies to micropropagate juvenile material of cherimoya, we optimized a protocol for the micropropagation of adult cherimoya plants, selected for their agronomic characteristics. At present, our research group is developing a breeding programme for cherimoya, focusing on several in vitro methodologies: a) somatic embryogenesis; b) adventitious organogenesis and cellular cultures; c) ploidy manipulation of the cherimoya, to obtain haploid, tetraploid and triploid plants (seedless); d) autotrophy induction; and e) genetic transformation to control postharvest processes and provide resistance to a number of pests and diseases.