Callus was initiated in three different ‘‘esculenta’’ taro cultivars by culturing corm slices in the dark on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 2.0 mg/l 2,4- dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) for 20 days followed by subculture of all corm slices to half-strength MS medium containing 1.0 mg/l thidiazuron (TDZ). Depending on the cultivar, 20–30% of corm slices produced compact, yellow, nodular callus on media containing TDZ. Histological studies revealed the presence of typical embryogenic cells which were small, isodiametric with dense cytoplasms. Somatic embryos formed when callus was transferred to hormone-free medium and *72% of the embryos germinated into plantlets on this medium. Simultaneous formation of roots and shoots during germination, and the presence of shoot and root poles revealed by histology, confirmed that these structures were true somatic embryos. Plants derived from somatic embryos appeared phenotypically normal following 2 months growth in a glasshouse. This method is a significant advance on those previously reported for the esculenta cultivars of taro due to its efficiency and reproducibility
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