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Biotechnology Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 818472, 5 pages
Research Article

High-Frequency Regeneration of the Drought-Tolerant Tree Melia volkensii Gurke Using Low-Cost Agrochemical Thidiazuron

School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Received 28 September 2012; Accepted 29 October 2012

Academic Editor: Yau Hung Chen

Copyright © 2012 Eliud Sagwa Mulanda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Melia volkensii Gurke is a drought-tolerant tree native to East Africa’s arid and semiarid lands (ASALs), with vast but underutilized potential for agroforestry and sustainable livelihoods in the ASALs. Its cultivation is limited by difficulties in propagation via conventional means. Full exploitation of the ability of thidiazuron (TDZ) to elicit regeneration in plant tissue cultures, as sole plant growth regulator (PGR), is hampered by high costs. This study tested the effectiveness of a low-cost agrochemical TDZ for in vitro propagation of M. volkensii. Zygotic embryos from mature seeds were cultured on Gamborg’s B5 medium containing 0 to 4 mg/L of agrochemical TDZ from Kingtai Chemicals Co.,Ltd., China. Callus induction frequency was 96.67 to 100%. Significantly large callus fresh mass was produced at 0.05 mg/L TDZ concentration (ANOVA, ). The effect of TDZ on embryogenicity was significant over certain ranges of concentrations (Anova, ). Multiple somatic embryos developed within 14 days of subculture to hormone-free B5 medium. Somatic embryos developed into microshoots which elongated when transferred to MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine plus 10% coconut water. The Kingtai-TDZ showed a high potency and suitability for use in M. volkensii tissue culture.