Propagation of Camptotheca acuminata
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Research was undertaken to optimize propagation of the southern China native Camptotheca acuminata Decaisne, source of the medicinal compound camptothecin that is used in the treatment of multiple forms of cancer and other diseases. The study focused on cutting propagation, micropropagation, and seed storage. Softwood cuttings of C. acuminata rooted readily in intermittent mist (4 sec on every 6 min.) in coarse vermiculite when treated with K-IBA (indolebutyric acid, potassium salt) quick dips ranging from 4.14 mM to 37.3 mM, with a 29.0 mM quick dip (5 sec.) promoting 82% rooting with little foliar damage. Actively growing shoot tip explants were tissue cultured on media containing Murashige and Skoog, Gamborg's B5, and Woody Plant Medium (WPM) salts in factorial combinations with BA (benzyladenine). WPM containing 4.44 μM BA promoted excellent shoot proliferation; microcuttings were rooted, acclimated, and grown in the greenhouse. Seeds stored in polyethylene bags in a refrigerator (4°C) or freezer (-20°C) maintained good germination (81% and 80%, respectively) while seeds stored at room temperature (25°C) in polyethylene bags lost germination ability quickly (58%) after one year of storage. C. acuminata is readily adaptable to modern nursery techniques for either vegetative or seed propagation.
Maxwell, Douglas Wayne (2005). Propagation of Camptotheca acuminata. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from