In vitro propagation studies and genetic fidelity assessment of endangered medicinal wild Yam- Dioscorea prazeri

A highly efficient in vitro regeneration of an indigenous, endangered medicinal plant Dioscorea prazeri was achieved using nodal explants and axillary buds on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing sucrose and supplemented with growth regulators Benzyl Amino Purine (BAP) and Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). Each explant regenerated 21±2 culturable segments after 10 to 12 weeks of inoculation of nodal explants with a regeneration frequency of 98±2% and a survival rate of >96% on field establishment. The plantlets had healthy roots and sprouted tubers in vitro; the rooted plantlets were acclimatized and successfully established in soil. The extraction and chromatographic analysis methods were standardized to obtain the maximum yield of diosgenin from plant extracts of D. prazeri. The content of diosgenin was observed to vary with age of the plant. An examination of the genetic fidelity of the in vitro regenerated explants indicated a genome that was stable. The plants obtained were analyzed further using morphological, molecular and biochemical methods and found to be genetically and metabolically stable at all growth phases. The regenerated D. prazeri, using the method developed in this study could be reintroduced into the natural habitat. Keywords: Micropropagation; Morphological analysis; Steroidal Sapogenin; Extraction; Diosgenin; HPLC; RAPD. Abbreviations : 2iP 2-isopentanyl adenine. B.O.D. Biological Oxygen Demand. BAP Benzylaminopurine. FYM Farm Yard Manure. GA3 Gibberllic acid. MS Murashige and Skoog. NAA Naphthalene acetic acid. RAPD Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA. TDZ Thiadizuron.

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