In Vitro propagation of Pilosocereus robinii (Lemaire) Byles et Rowley, endemic and endangered cactus


  • Elisa Quiala
  • Jesús Matos
  • Grecia Montalvo
  • Manuel de Feria
  • Maité Chávez
  • Alina Capote
  • Naivy Pérez
  • Raúl Barbón
  • Britta Kowalski



biodiversity conservation, cactaceae, micropropagation, threatened specie, tissue culture.


In vitro propagation systems by areole activation were developed for Pilosocereus robinii (Lemaire)
Byles et Rowley, an endemic cactus of Cuban island in extinction danger. Seeds from mature fruits
were collected under field conditions and disinfected with two concentration of NaOCl (1.0 and
2.0%) and two time of disinfection (15 and 20 min). During germination a half- and full-strength
MS basal medium were tested. The highest germination rate (92.8%) was reached when half MS
basal medium were used. Shoot formation from areoles of in vitro-germinated plantlets was
achieved in explants cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with 30 g
l-1 sucrose, 3.0 g l-1 Gelrite® and three concentration of 6-Bencilaminopurine (4.44, 6.66 and 13.32
?M). Shoot production in this proliferation medium was evaluated during three culture cycles.
Proportionately proliferation rate increase with 6-BAP concentration, on the contrary shoots length
decreased. The highest proliferation rate (8.9 shoots per explant) was reached employment 13.32
?M of 6-BAP. On average, rooting efficiency was 100% in MS basal medium free of growth
regulators. The frequency of survival of the plants once transferred to substrate composed of cattle
manure rotted for eight months was on average 91.6%. Finally, 500 individual plants of
Pilosocereus robinii were transferred to nursery. We describe for the first time a system for the
production of multiple shoots by areole activation, as well as their rooting, acclimatization and
nursery establishment of endangered and endemic specie, that are difficult to propagate by
conventional methods.






Scientific Papers