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Data from: In-vitro cultivation of liveforevers (genus Dudleya) to reduce poaching and extinction

Citation

Alison, Kevin (2020), Data from: In-vitro cultivation of liveforevers (genus Dudleya) to reduce poaching and extinction, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.7280/D1NH4W

Abstract

The genus Dudleya consists of many rare and endangered species. Recently, poaching has emerged as a critical threat to the continued survival of these plants in the wild. Conservationists will typically store seeds and grow new plants, but this method could limit propagation if viability and seed availably is unreliable. Nursery growing efforts have been limited by unreliable and scarce seed sources, and challenges to maintaining genetically isolated populations, as Dudleya species readily hybridize. Micropropagation can overcome these challenges by exponentially cloning plants to deflate poaching incentives. This project made progress toward developing an aseptic culture method of propagation of Dudleya, meaning growing plants in a sterile growing environment. First, I compared the propagation of in-vitro and ex-vitro grown seeds to understand if in-vitro culture enhances germination, survival, and growth. Second, I compared nine decontamination protocols to determine which one is in better at minimizing microbial contamination and damage to plant tissue. For seeds, the germination rate varied among treatments and species. Plants grew larger ex-vitro (in the greenhouse), but experienced mortality, whereas all seedlings survived in-vitro (in culture). For cuttings, I found that NaDCC (sodium dichloroisocyanura) resulted in less contamination and necrosis than bleach. An effective method of applying NaDCC was identified to introduce rare cuttings of select Dudleya species into in-vitro culture. This research provides a foundation for conservationists to continue to optimize the micropropagation process, and also provides an effective tool for germplasm storage.

Funding

Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society - Charlie O'Neill Grant