Gnetum africanum is a green leafy vegetable found in Nigeria, where it is a highly valued food source. Stocks of this plant in the wild are increasingly threatened by land transformation and harvesting methods are unsustainable. In vitro callus initiation of G. africanum has been developed. The surfaces of 3 to 4 day old leaf explants were sterilized before exposure to a range of different concentrations of plant growth regulators. In vitro callus initiation of explants in single concentrations of auxins (2,4D: 2-4-dichloroxyphenoxyacetic and pichloram) did not initiate callus after 3 months of culture. However, combinations of cytokines (BAP: 6-benzylaminopurine, and Kinetin) and auxins initiated callus. The highest percentage callus initiation response of 100% was observed in the combination of BAP (1.0 mg/l) + 2,4D (7 mg/l). There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in callus production of explants in response to different callus induction and initiation media. However, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) between the degree of callus response and callus size to these different media.
Key words: BAP (6-benzylaminopurine), callus initiation, Gnetum africanum, kinetin, 2,4D (2-4-dichloroxyphenoxyacetic), pichloram.
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