IN VITRO CONSERVATION OF COCONUT (Cocos nucifera L.) EMBRYOS IN CULTURE MEDIA
The possibility of delaying the germination of mature coconut embryos in vitro for medium-term
conservation of coconut was investigated. Embryos of coconut was stored in sugar free, full-strength and
half-strength MS media for 3 months with minimal loss in viability. Germinability of embryos decreased
with prolonged storage. At the end of 9-month storage period, embryos kept in full-strength media were
all non-germinable, while those stored in half-strength media still gave 15% germination. Addition of
mannitol up to 0.3M did show any significant effect on germination of embryos stored for 3 months.
However, longer period of storage helps to a certain extent in the preservation of embryo viability. The
presence of mannitol in the storage medium also induced morphological abnormalities in seedlings
derived subsequently from the stored embryos. Mannitol at 0.4M was totally deleterious to the embryo.
Significance of these findings on coconut genetic resources conservation are discussed.
Keywords: In vitro conservation/Coconut embryo.
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