In the present study, an efficient system for the in vitro regeneration of adventitious shoots from the peach rootstock Hansen 536 leaves has been established. Twenty regeneration media containing McCown Woody Plant Medium (WPM) as a basal salt supplemented with different concentrations and combinations of plant growth regulators (PGRs) were tested. Expanded leaves along with their petiole from 3-week-old elongated in vitro shoot cultures were used as starting explants. The highest regeneration rate (up to 53%) was obtained on WPM basal medium enriched with 15.5 μM N6
-benzylaminopurine (BAP). The influences on leaf regeneration of the ethylene inhibitor silver thiosulphate (STS) and of different combinations of antibiotics added to the optimized regeneration medium were also investigated. The use of 10 μM STS or carbenicillin (238 μM) combined with cefotaxime (210 μM) significantly increased the average number of regenerating shoots per leaf compared to the control. In vitro shoots were finally elongated, rooted and successfully acclimatized in the greenhouse. The results achieved in this study advances the knowledge on factors affecting leaf organogenesis in Prunus
spp., and the regeneration protocol described looks promising for the optimization of new genetic transformation procedures in Hansen 536 and other peach rootstocks and cultivars.
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