Establishment of cost-effective rooting, acclimatization and genetic fidelity of in vitro plants of apple rootstock Merton 793

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00479-z
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Keywords: Micropropagation, Apple rootstock, In vitro rooting and hardening, Genetic stability, Molecular markers


Efforts were made to develop an efficient and low-cost in vitro rooting and hardening of microshoots of Merton 793, an apple rootstock recommended for replantation in the orchards of Himachal Pradesh. Successful rooting of microshoots was related to their exposure to NAA-supplemented MS medium for the first few days and then transferred to the basal medium. Agar was found to be the best substrate among sand, perlite and tapioca pearls. Replacing sucrose with sugar resulted in an equal rooting percentage. Partial in vitro root initiation in a liquid medium and successful root elongation and hardening in peat-sand reduced the duration of the in vitro rooting stage. On the other hand, when shoots were dipped in high levels of NAA and planted for direct rooting and hardening, they eliminated the rooting step. Five-year-old in vitro shoot cultures categorized based on three morphotypes were subjected to random amplified polymorphic DNA and simple sequence repeat analysis. The banding patterns were highly uniform and comparable to the mother clone from which the cultures had been established. Thus, the partial in vitro rooting and direct rooting of shoots of M793 are more economical and can be applied for large-scale production of plants without the risk of instability.

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Micropropagation, Apple rootstock, In vitro rooting and hardening, Genetic stability, Molecular markers

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Financial assistance provided by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, in the form of a research project is highly acknowledged. We are thankful to Mr. B. S Guleria, Subject Matter Specialist, PCDO Mahog Bagh, Chail, HP for maintaining plants in their field.

Author Information

Negi Neelam Prabha
University Institute of Biotechnology, Chandigarh University, Mohali, India

Choudhary Shruti
Department of Biotechnology, Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, India