Coffea arabica, F1 hybrid variety, Ruiru 11 is a highly sought after crop in Kenya due to its alleviated resistance to Coffee Berry Disease and Coffee Leaf Rust coupled with high yield capacity and good cup quality. Access to the variety’s planting materials is limited due to challenges with difficulty in propagation using conventional methods of seed and vegetative propagation; and somatic embryogenesis is regarded as a suitable alternative propagation method. Therefore, the current study aimed to establish an induction protocol in F1 composite hybrid Ruiru 11. The current study investigated the effects of genotype and plant growth regulators, auxins and cytokinins, on induction of embryogenic callus in two composite genotypes of C. arabica L. F1 hybrid variety Ruiru 11. Leaf explants from the F1 hybrid were cultured on half-strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) media supplemented with varied concentrations and combinations of plant growth regulators. Callus formation was evaluated weekly until the 60th day. Genotypic effects were assessed based on the difference on callus induction rates, biomass fresh weights and callus formation. The genotypes tested showed highest callus induction 88% (Code 71) and 100% (Code 93) with respect to the formation of embryogenic calli. Highest fresh weight was obtained at 0.973 ± 0.011 g in Code 71 and 0.649 ± 0.03 g in Code 93 in MS media supplemented with 2,4-D + BAP ( 0.53 + 0.11 µM). The observed results are useful in formulating the best growth regulator concentration suitable for mass in vitro propagation genotypes of Arabica coffee hybrid Ruiru 11 through callus induction in vitro of leaf explants.
Key words: Somatic embryogenesis, callus, auxins, cytokinin, in vitro.
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