Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth.) is a climbing plant known for its ornamental properties and ease of cultivation in temperate climates. Quality and colour of flowers and leaves, especially in the production of ornamentals, are important parameters both for producers and for customers. This study aimed to investigate the changes in photosynthetic pigment, protein and dry matter content of in vitro-propagated I. purpurea following chitosan treatment with different polymerization degrees (DP) and to determine the indirect effect of this biopolymer on leaves of the plant. Nodal explants of I. purpurea were cultured in medium supplemented with 5, 10 and 20 mg L−1 concentrations of a chitosan oligomers mixture with a variable degree of polymerization (DP) ranging from 2 to 15 or chitosan polymer with DP of 70. It was found that both oligomeric and polymeric chitosan treatments increased chlorophyll-a contents in the leaves when compared to the chitosan-naïve control group. Polymeric chitosan stimulated chlorophyll-b and carotenoid synthesis more effectively than the oligomer mixture. Also, 10 mg L−1 polymeric chitosan better triggered total protein production and plant dry matter content in I. purpurea. The results of this study showed that, due to their stimulatory effects on photosynthetic pigment, protein and plant dry matter production, chitosan oligomers at low concentration and polymers at moderate concentration might be considered as safe and natural biostimulants for ornamental plants which could affect the plant’s attractiveness and commercial success.
Serapias vomeracea is an economically important orchid species which is over-collected from nature, because of its glucomannan-rich tubers. Thus, optimization of in vitro culture methodology in this species is required to meet industrial needs and to secure its populations in nature. This study aimed to optimize the surface sterilization protocol for S. vomeracea seeds and to select the optimal seed germination medium by comparing the commonly used media in in vitro orchid culture. During seed surface sterilization, ethyl alcohol (EtOH) pre-treatment prior to sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) treatment increased the disinfection success and viable seed yield when examined using the triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) seed viability test. Also, low-g force centrifugation as an additional step in the surface sterilization method separated the seeds without embryo from the viable seeds and thereby decreased potential counting errors after incubation. Comparison of media showed that solid Knudson C (KN) medium induced the highest number of germinated seeds. However, seed germination success of Lindemann (LN) and Vacin & Went (VW) media was found to be higher when the media was used in liquid form. Half-strength liquid VW was the only medium that induced higher germination success than the other full-strength media. The highest number of ungerminated seeds was found when using KN medium whereas liquid VW medium gave the lowest number. In general, protocorm formation was triggered when the media were used in liquid form. However, rhizoid elongation was suppressed in liquid media. These findings suggest that this optimized seed surface sterilization method offers a simple and effective alternative to classical methods. Additionally, solid KN medium may be considered as a cost-effective and reliable alternative to other commonly-used complex media in S. vomeracea cultures.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of possible zinc (Zn) and molybdenum (Mo) contaminations on the critically endangered European Bluestar (Amsonia orientalis). The effects of Zn and Mo were tested in a dose-dependent manner on in vitro cultures. Zn at 0.1 mM in the medium inhibited root development whereas Mo showed the same effect only at ≥2.5 mM concentration. Gradual inhibition of shoot development was observed after treatment with both metals. Protein contents were also negatively affected by increasing metal concentrations, while proline levels increased gradually. Successive increases in metal concentrations resulted in higher hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations. The activity of the antioxidant enzymes, peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), were found to be enhanced in response to increasing metal concentrations. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity decreased after Zn treatment but increased after Mo treatment. A marked increase in POD and CAT in response to metal stress suggests that these enzymes might have a significant cooperative role in regulating H2O2 production, although CAT, in response to drought and salt stress, has been reported to only play a supplementary role in A. orientalis. These results indicated that A. orientalis is susceptible to long-term Zn stress but can tolerate up to 2.5 mM Mo in the long-term. Deficiency of Mo is more common than high toxic concentrations in the environment. Therefore Zn contamination should be considered as one of the major threats for A. orientalis in its native habitat.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of drought stress on Amsonia orientalis, an endangered ornamental plant with a limited natural distribution in Europe. Effects of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated drought stress (-0.15, -0.49, -1.03 and -1.76 MPa osmotic potentials) were tested on in vitro cultures. In general, root lengths and numbers, total protein, chlorophyll a and carotenoid contents were negatively influenced at elevated levels of the stress factor. The successive decrease in the tested osmotic potentials resulted in gradually higher H2O2, malondialdehyde (MDA) and proline contents. Activities of the antioxidant enzymes, peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), were found to be enhanced in response to the decreasing osmotic potential tested, whereas increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was observed at the -0.15 MPa osmotic potential. Strong activation of POD enzymes under drought stress suggests that POD enzymes might have a major role in regulating the H2O2 content, while CAT has only a supplementary role in A. orientalis. These results indicated that although A. orientalis is susceptible to long-term drought, the species may survive during mild drought stress because the development of the plant was not totally inhibited but only limited. Nevertheless, the species should be introduced to well-irrigated lands, after evaluation of the soil’s water status, in order to ensure the continuation of its generations.