Experiments were conducted for standardization of in vitro culture technique ofstevia rebaudiana, an important non-caloric sweetening herb to explore its potential for micro-propagation and callus culture. Nodal segments of the selected herb as explants were cultured for micro-propagation on MS medium containing 0.1 mg/l N6-benzyl amino purine for shoot initiation. Maximum plantlets (83.2 ± 0.445033) were found in MS medium treated with 3.5 mg/l N6-benzyl amino purine at multiplication stage. Young leaves were placed on MS medium containing 2 mg/l 2-4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid +1 mg/1 Kinetin was given best result of callusing. Higher regeneration of plantlets (3.8 plantlets/calli) was obtained by placing callus on MS medium with 5 mg/l BA + 1 mg/l NA. Highest rooting average (11.1 ± 0.264052) was recorded on 1/2MS medium with 100 mg/l activated charcoal. The rooted plantlets were hardened in 1:1:1 ratio of sand: soil: vermicompost and successfully established in soil.
Key words: Stevia rebaudiana, in vitro propagation, regeneration of callus, non-caloric sweetener, medicinal plant, N6-benzyl amino purine, 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid.
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