Investigations into in vitro manipulation of Solanum centrale (bush tomato) – Publication

Abstract of a publication reporting research funded in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

K.A. Johnson, A.K. Ahmed and G. Armstrong
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
Sydney 2065 Australia

Acta Horticulturae 616: 169-175 (2003).
Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Acclimatization and Establishment of Micropropagated Plants.

Solanum centrale J.M. Black (Solanaceae) commonly called bush raisin or bush tomato, or known locally as “kampurarpa”, is a small clonally spreading undershrub with yellow fruit that dry on the plant to resemble a raisin. The fruit provides excellent nourishment and is recognised as possibly the most important of all Central Australian native plant foods, and is one of the key commercially significant “bushfood” species. One of the main obstacles to the horticultural cultivation of S. centrale is the low germination rate of the seed. In this research, a medium was developed that stimulated multiple shoot initiation from different type of explants, resulting in multiple shoot clumps forming on various media within 6 weeks. Aseptic cultures were initiated from mature plants, using apical shoots of 5 min in length and placed on basic MS medium supplemented with 2 µM BAP. Three types of explants were investigated: apical buds, nodal cuttings with one axillary bud per explant, and leaf segments of 10 mm2 including the mid vein. The formation of adventitious shoots was achieved using half strength MS medium with B5 vitamins and BAP, kinetin, and zeatin at concentrations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 µM with IAA at 1 µM. Roots formed when clumps of shootlets were transplanted to the glasshouse environment and planted in perlite:sand:peat potting mixture.