In vitro propagation of Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliott
My name is Orsolya Borsai and I am a PhD student at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. My major fields of research are plant genetics and breeding as a feasible option for tolerance to abiotic stresses, and micropropagation techniques to generate new plant cultivars. Aronia melanocarpa (Michx) Elliott is a culinary, medicinal and cosmetic plant species, native to North America, also cultivated more and more in Europe. The fruit of aronia are highly appreciated and considered as one of the richest plant sources of phenolic content, mainly cyanidin-glycosides. Aronia fruit juice has remarkable hepatoprotective properties, very good gastroprotective properties and a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect and is thus recommended in diverse treatments such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and radiation illnesses. The main objectives of this study were to investigate and establish an effective micropropagation protocol for Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliott by optimizing all stages of micropropagation. In order to achieve these objectives, we wanted to identify how many in vitro subcultures were possible without reducing genetic uniformity. This was followed by the determination of the number of subcultures after which a high degree of somaclonal variability had appeared. Our results showed that the highest multiplication rate was obtained in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with either of the plant growth regulators' compositions tested, followed by the walnut specific medium (DKW) + 0.5 mg L-1 benzylaminopurine (BAP), with a multiplication rate of 49. Woody plant medium (WPM), supplemented with either 2 mg L-1 zeatin or 5 mg L-1 2-isopentenyl, provided the lowest multiplication rates, 17.5 and 13, respectively. Shoot number, shoot length and shoot mass in MS media proved to be superior compared to the other media used. The results also showed that the bigger the number of explants/vessel was, the lower the multiplication rate and shoot length became. The sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) analysis showed that, from the eight primer combinations used, each primer set produced from 3 to 7 monomorphic fragments, confirming homogeneity among the investigated individuals.
Orsolya Borsai won an ISHS Young Minds award for the best poster at the II International Symposium on Fruit Culture along Silk Road Countries in Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2017.