Canadian Forest Service Publications

Can mimicking sexual reproduction solve problems with recalcitrance in in vitro propagation of tree species? Bonga, J.M. 2018. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 48 (7): 735-739.

Year: 2018

Available from: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39347

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0020

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Clonal propagation by in vitro means of adult forest trees is often difficult or not possible with current technology. This problem, generally described as recalcitrance, has been approached from several angles by researchers and reviewers. However, it has not yet been reviewed from the point of view that it may eventually be possible to overcome recalcitrance by mimicking the rejuvenation process that occurs during sexual reproduction. The discussion below indicates that mimicking the sexual or apomictic process in vitro is worthy of further exploration and should be evaluated as a means of genetically improving tree species, especially those of high economic value. Furthermore, improved technology resulting from such studies could help save endangered ones. Studies along these lines may also be helpful in improving our knowledge of the epigenetic, cytogenetic, and genomic mechanisms involved.

Plain Language Summary

Being able to clone forest tree species in a routine, large-scale fashion is important for the forest industry because considerable genetic improvement of planting material can be achieved by that process. Unfortunately, for many commercial species, especially if clonal propagation of superior adult individuals is desired, the current technology is either only marginally or not at all effective. The current review examines the problem from the point of view that it may be possible to improve the clonal propagation process by attempting to mimic the sexual process. It suggests a number of research avenues that could help in improving the propagation technology.

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