Echinops Asteraceae/Compositae is widespread throughout southern Europe and Asia. It is a native plant in Israel and usually found as a weed in wheat fields. Due to the need of the plants for vernalization, horticultural practice is to chill the crowns for 2 month before planting to achieve early flowering. A method for the propagation of Echinops through axillary buds and root cutting cultures is described in this manuscript. Best conditions for propagation were using MS salt medium supplemented with 3 sucrose and 1 mg l-1 IAA plus 0.5 mg l-11 BA under 16 h of cool fluorescent light. Root cuttings produced shoots all along the root but each growth regulator combination affected where roots will sprout shoots. Rooted plants were successfully acclimatized after propagating on the above medium and eventually flowered. Agrobacterium transformation of Echinops was successfully achieved and expression of GUS reporter gene was tested under the control of two constitutive promoters.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Part of this work was supported by a grant from the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture (Number 256062202) awarded to M. Z and (Number 256057402) awarded to M. R. We thank Mr. G. Dong, Mrs. O. Genis and Mr. Y. Roth for excellent work on the transformation experiments.
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