Potential of cassava flour as a gelling agent in media for plant tissue cultures


Moses F. A. Maliro1,2* and Grace Lameck1

The potential of a tissue culture medium gelled with cassava flour to support shoot proliferation of stem nodal sections of Uapaca kirkiana and Faidherbia albida was studied. A two factorial experiment was conducted with the first factor as type of gelling agent (80 g/L cassava flour; 80 g/L cassava flour mixed with 3.5 g/L agar; and 7 g/L agar) while the second factor was two plant species. Explants were obtained from 8-months old U. kirkiana and F. albida in vitro raised seedlings. Data included number of shoots and height and analysis of variance was performed. Number of shoots proliferating and shoot height from cultures on medium gelled with cassava flour was the lowest. This was attributed to the degradation of the cassava flour gel after two weeks. Performance of the cassava flour mixed with 3.5 g/L agar gel was better than agar alone. The stability of cassava flour as a gelling agent can therefore be improved by mixing with some agar.

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