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Clonal propagation of Pterocarpus santalinoides L'Hér. ex DC.: the effect of substrate, cutting type, genotype and auxin

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Pterocarpus santalinoides is a multipurpose tree species, native to Africa and South America. However, excessive pruning for fodder is jeopardising its seed production leading to poor regeneration in the Sahel region. Efficient vegetative propagation techniques may overcome this concern. To address this issue, four experiments were conducted to determine the effects of substrate (Experiment 1), cutting type (Experiments 2 and 3), genotype (Experiment 4) and auxins (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) on rooting ability in a non-mist propagating unit in Mali. Among the four tested substrates, no significant differences were found in rooting parameters, including the percentage of rooted cuttings, the number of roots and secondary roots per rooted cutting, and the length of the longest root per rooted cutting. Semi-hardwood cuttings rooted significantly better than softwood cuttings with a higher percentage of rooted cuttings (31.7 ± 6.5% vs. 9.2 ± 2.7%), greater number of roots (8.2 ± 4.8 vs 1.5 ± 0.7), greater number of secondary roots (16.7 ± 4.2 vs 4.6 ± 1.8) and longer root length (17.8 ± 12.0cm vs 2.3 ± 1.0cm) per rooted cutting. In addition, one-node cuttings cut below the second and third nodes, respectively, had the highest rooting success (88% and 90%, respectively) followed by cuttings cut below the fourth node (68%) and the first node (62%). Significant differences in the percentage of rooted cuttings were found among 12 randomly selected genotypes with rooting varying from 2% to 75%.The results also showed that auxin application, especially IBA, had a significant effect on rooting success, the number of roots and secondary roots per rooted cutting. Single-node cuttings, and cuttings of 10cm length with multiple softwood and semi-hardwood nodes, can be used with or without auxin treatment for successful clonal propagation of P. santalinoides. The results of the present study indicated that P. santalinoides is amenable to clonal propagation using low-cost propagators and sand-based rooting media. © 2016 NISC (Pty) Ltd.

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