Efficient TDZ-induced regeneration from capitulum explants of Gerbera jamesonii Bolus ex Hooker F. - an ornamental plant with high aesthetic value

Gerbera jamesonii Bolus ex Hooker F. (Asteraceae), a most prominent ornamental plant ranking fifth in the world cut flower market has gained huge demand across the globe for its high aesthetic value. In the present study, an efficient plant regeneration protocol was developed using capitulum explants from the field grown mature plants of G. jamesonii. A successful surface sterilization procedure was established using a series of sterilants without affecting explant regenerability. The culture of capitulum explants on Pre-culture Induction Medium [(PIM), Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium fortified with 0.5 mg/L thidiazuron (TDZ) in combination with low levels of auxins] for a period of 2 weeks in dark conditions was crucial for inducing morphogenetic response. Upon transfer onto Shoot Regeneration Medium [(SRM), MS +4.0 mg/L 6-benzyladenine (BA) and 0.2 mg/L NAA], explants has significantly produced highest number of shoots (16 ± 0.33). Incubation for 18–21 days on Shoot Multiplication and Elongation Medium [(SMEM), MS +2.0 mg/L BA +0.2 mg/L NAA] resulted in the highest number of multiple shoots (22.00 ± 0.93) with increased mean shoot length (3.49 ± 0.08). In vitro elongated shoots were rooted (95%) on ½ MS +1.0 mg/L indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) within 10–12 days and fully rooted plants were transferred to poly-house for hardening with 90% survival rate.