MICROPROPAGATION OF CAPSICUM ANNUUM L.
Sanatombi K., G. J. Sharma*
Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal-795003, India (* corresponding author, e-mail: email@example.com) Abstract. An efficient micropropagation protocol was developed for Capsicum annuum L.cv. ‘Morok Amuba’, an ornamental chilli cultivar using shoo-tip and axillary shoot-tip explants. Multiple shoot buds were induced from shoot-tip explants on MS medium containing cytokinins alone or in combination with IAA. A maximum number of shoot buds was induced on MS medium containing 10 mg/l Zea followed by 5 mg/l BAP in combination with 1 mg/l IAA. Rooting and elongation of the shoot budswere achieved on MS medium supplemented with 0.5 mg/l IAA or IBA. Axillary shoots were induced on the rooted plantlets by decapitation and the axillary shoot-tips explants were used for further induction of shoot buds by culturing them on a medium containing combinations of BAP with IAA. The shoot buds were rooted on a medium containing 0.5 mg/l IBA. The plantlets showed 80-90% survival duringtransplantation. Key words: axillary shoot-tip explants, chilli, decapitation, regeneration INTRODUCTION
Chillies are the fruits or berries of plants belonging to the genus Capsicum of the Nightshade family, Solanaceae. The genus Capsicum consists of about 25 wild and 5 domesticated species. The five domesticated species are Capsicum annuum L., Capsicum frutescens L., Capsicum chinense Jacq.,Capsicum baccatum L., and Capsicum pubescens R & P. (IBPGR, 1983). Of the domesticated species, Capsicum annuum is the most economically important and includes both mild and pungent fruit types. Chillies contain numerous chemicals including steam-volatile oil, fatty oils, capsaicinoids, carotenoids, vitamins, protein, fibre and mineral elements (Bosland and Votava, 2000) and are variously used fordifferent purposes because of their nutritional value, flavour, aroma, texture, pungency and colour in a wide assortment of foods, drugs, and cosmetics, while some are cultivated ornamentally, especially for their brightly glossy fruits with a wide range of colours, shape and sizes. Pepper sprays containing capsicum oleoresin provide ingredients for a non-lethal deterrent or repellent to some human andanimal behaviours (De, 2003) and are useful riot control agents and self-defense tools. Chillies also have antifungal property against fungal species belonging to Aspergillus and Fusarium (De Lucca et al., 2006; Ngai and Ng, 2006). Besides the above-mentioned uses, chillies also have medicinal uses. Recently, several studies have also demonstrated anti-cancer or anti-mutagenic effect of thechilli extracts. Carotenoids present in chilli extracts were found to have a synergistic anti-mutagenic and in vitro anti-tumour-promoting activity (de Mejia et al., 1998; Maoka et al., 2003). Topical capsaicin has been shown to have a safe analgesic effect against many painful conditions such as post-herpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy,
osteoarthritis and mouth sores developing afterchemotherapy or radiation (Nelson, 1994; Rains and Bryson, 1995). Capsicum annuum L. cv. ‘Morok Amuba’ is cultivated as an ornamental in Manipur (23º47΄- 25º41΄ NL; 93º61΄- 94º47΄ EL; 750-3,600 m above MSL; 1,600-3,430 mm annual rainfall) although its fruits are also edible. The plants have flowers with a purple-coloured corolla, a whitish area near the base and bears mildly pungent fruits, which aredark-purple in colour when young and red when ripe. The conventional method of propagation using seeds is restricted by the short span of viability and low germination rate of seeds. Moreover, chilli plants are also highly susceptible to fungal and viral pathogens (Morrison et al., 1986). Since the plants also lack natural vegetative propagation, tissue culture methods provide a novel way for...