Litsea glutinosa (Lour) C.B (Hindi: Maida lakri) is a medicinal plant of immense pharmaceutical value. The species is critically endangered due to its indiscriminate collection as raw material for pharmaceutical industry, where it is used for manufacturing drugs for pain, arousing sexual power and in treatment of diarrhea and dysentery etc. An attempt has been made for development of in vitro propagation procedure for the species, involving four steps, namely: culture establishment, shoot multiplication, rooting and hardening. Aseptic cultures were established on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented 10.0 µM N6-benzyladenine (BA) using nodal segments (1 cm). Four sets of simple randomized experiment were carried out on MS medium to study the effect of four doses of each BA, GA3, IAA, (0, 2.5, 5.0 and 10 µM) and ascorbic acid (0, 284, 852 and 1136 µM) for in vitro shoot multiplication. MS medium supplemented with 5.0 µM BA with 852 µM ascorbic acid significantly proved optimum for in vitro shoot multiplication and resulted in 1.05 shoot number explant-1, 1.72 node number shoot-1 and 1.79 node number explant-1 at one month after inoculation. The in vitro multiplied shoots were tested for in vitro root induction on MS culture media containing auxin IBA (Indole-3-butaric acid) treatments (0, 2.5, 5.0 and10.0 µM) in simple randomized designs experiment. MS media supplemented with 10.0 µM IBA, screened out to be significantly excellent for induction and growth of adventitious roots, resulting in 72.2% rooting and 0.72 root number explant-1 at 30 days after inoculation. The in vitro propagated plants exhibited excellent growth. Therefore, the present study recommends a four step micropropagation procedure for in vitro production of L. glutinosa plants on a commercial scale to meet the requirement of pharmaceutical industries and save the species from extinction.
Key words: Litsea glutinosa (Lour) C.B, ascorbic acid, nodal segments.