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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

IN VITRO PROPAGATION OF STEVIA REBAUDIANA

Abstract

Stevia rebaudiana commonly known as “Stevia” is a native herb of South America. The leaves of stevia accumulates stevioside (a diterpenoid glycoside), which is several times sweeter than sucrose and is characterized as non-calorie, non-fermentative, and non-carcinogenic. In addition to sweetened qualities, this plant is also known for therapeutic uses. It regulates blood pressure and controls blood sugar. Since the leaves are the major source of steviol glycoside, enhancing the green biomass could increase production of active ingredient in this plant and thus could meet the supply deficit. Seeds of stevia produced through cross-pollination are mostly nonviable, and the viable ones produce heterogenous population. Therefore, the main goal of our research is to enhance the biomass production through tissue culture technique. About 5 - 6 cm long stem explants of stevia with 3 - 4 nodes were sterilized and inoculated on Murashige and Skooge (MS) medium containing 3% sucrose and gelled with 0.8% agar supplemented with 3 combinations of Indole Acetic Acid (IAA) and 6, Benzyle aminopurine (BAP). 1) 0.2mg/L IAA + 1.0 mg/L BAP, 2) 0.5 mg/L IAA + 1.0 mg/L BAP and 3) 0.2 mg/L IAA + 2.0 mg/L BAP were used for micropropagation. Polarity of shoot was maintained during inoculation. The pH of the media was adjusted to 5.8. MS medium without adding growth regulators served as a control. Five replications were tested. After 2 weeks of culture, the effect of different treatments was quantified based on percentage of cultures showing shoot initiation. Results showed that shoot growth occurred only on MS media containing 0.2 mg/L IAA + 2 mg/L BAP.

Acknowledgements

Department of Natural Sciences, Middle Georgia State University

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