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Revista Brasileira de Plantas Medicinais

Print version ISSN 1516-0572


RESCAROLLI, C.L.S.  and  ZAFFARI, G.R.. Etlingera elatior seedling production through in vitro tissue culture. Rev. bras. plantas med. [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.2, pp.190-195. ISSN 1516-0572.

The use of natural products to treat diseases has been common for humans since the beginning of times. Etlingera elatior (torch ginger), an herbaceous species very common in gardens and muddy areas, has been cited by the popular culture as treatment for muscular pains and rheumatism, which has stimulated the pharmaceutical industry to start investing in studies on its activity. However, phytomass production by high-quality healthy plants is still incipient. The utilization of plant biotechnology, specially in vitro vegetative propagation, allows the large-scale production of seedlings and/or phytomass of high genetic and phytosanitary quality in a short time and small area. The aim of this work was to evaluate the action of disinfectant agents on the production of aseptic explants, as well as the effect of culture medium composition and rhizome splitting on the development, multiplication and rooting of plants in vitro in order to establish the micropropagation process. Lateral buds were disinfected with ethanol and calcium and sodium hypochlorite. Aseptic rhizomes were longitudinally sectioned and multiplied in MS culture medium containing BAP (0.0, 1.0 and 2.0 mg L-1). The establishment of aseptic cultures by using 70% ethanol, 1% NaClO and 1% and 5% CaClO resulted in 10 to 40% explant survival. The multiplication rate obtained for whole and longitudinally sectioned rhizomes cultivated in MS medium did not present significant difference for sprout number. However, sectioned rhizome cultivated in MS medium added of 1.0 mg L-1 BAP had a significant increase in sprout number, relative to whole rhizomes at the same BAP concentration. In the presence of BAP, there was a reduction in root number for whole rhizomes. Although rhizome splitting and BAP concentration affected sprout and root number, there was no difference in the growth of plants and roots. Thus, Etlingera elatior micropropagation is possible, allowing the large-scale production of seedlings.

Keywords : micropropagation; medicinal plant; torch ginger.

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