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Early recognition of graft compatibility in Uapaca kirkiana Müell Arg. clones, provenances and species

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Examination of callus micro-grafts in Uapaca kirkiana Müell Arg. was carried out with the objective of determining early signs of graft compatibility. Leaves from U. kirkiana, U. nitida and Jatropha curcas trees were used for callus induction. Two pieces of callus were co-cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with different supplements. Co-cultured calli were embedded in paraffin wax and dissected. The specimens were stained in safranin and fast green before viewing under a light microscope. Results showed that MS medium with 0.1 mg l-1 thidiazuron (TDZ) and 0.5 mg l-1 naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) or 1.0 mg l-1 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 0.5 mg l-1 NAA was effective for callus induction. There were no necrotic layers at the unions within U. kirkiana clones and provenances, but a differential growth (irregularity) between U. kirkiana and U. nitida co-cultured calli. Phenol deposits were observed at the union interfaces of U. kirkiana combinations and were high on calli derived from mature trees. Phenol deposits were absent at the union of J. curcas heterografts. Necrotic layers developed at the unions of U. kirkiana and J. curcas micro-grafts and indicating an outright graft incompatibility. Accumulation of phenol deposits at the union interfaces inhibited graft compatibility in many U. kirkiana combinations. Callus fusion technique can be used to identify partners with an outright graft incompatibility, especially for distant related plant species

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