Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Yang, Dr. Guochen

Abstract

Galax urceolata which is native from Virginia to Georgia is becoming threatened due to overharvesting. Expediting the multiplication of Galax would increase its potential in becoming an economically viable cash crop while protecting the wild population. The overall goal of this study was to develop a protocol for in vitro Galax germination and proliferation. Influences of light intensity, culture medium pH, temperature stratification, and seed maturity as were studied for their effects on Galax seed germination in vitro. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) BA, IBA, and GA3 were tested for their effects on germination. BA and IBA were also tested for shoot development. Galax seeds harvested from the mountains demonstrated 16.7% viability based on the test of tetrazolium staining. Light is required for Galax seeds germination as it significantly increased the germination rate. A stratification temperature of 50C along with increasing seed maturity were found to have significant positive effects on Galax seed germination resulting in a germination rate of 76%. The PGR treatments of 6-benzylaminopurine and indole -3-butyric acid (BA:IBA) applied at various ratios to one another were found to inhibit Galax seed germination as no germination was noticed for any treatment after 30 days. GA3 demonstrated a positive effect on seed germination after the cold stratification pretreatment for dark-colored Galax seed. The BA and IBA treatments were not effective for initiating shoots after 20 days of exposure. More research is needed to develop a protocol for seedling proliferation and shoot initiation leading to an efficient production of Galax plants.

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