Developing propagation techniques for Bush Tomato

Developing propagation techniques for Bush Tomato Report

Final Report

  • Author(s): Johnson, KA., Ahmed, AK.
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: Australian Flora Foundation

Abstract: Solanum centrale JM Black (bush tomato) (Solanaceae) commonly called bush raisin or bush tomato, or known locally as kampurarpa, is a small clonally spreading undershrub with yellow fruit that dry on the plant to resemble a raisin. The fruit provides excellent nourishment and is recognised as possibly the most important of all Central Australian native plant foods, and is one of the key commercially significant bushfood species. One of the main obstacles to the horticultural cultivation of S. centrale is the low germination rate of the seed. Seed viability and the effects of heat, smoke, soaking, leaching, temperature, scarification and NaCI salinity on germination rates and percentages were investigated. Seed dormancy is imposed by the seed coat; once scarified, germination of two seed lots approached the viability levels determined through tetrazolium testing. Germination did not differ at temperatures of 12, 20 or 28°C, indicating that there is no seasonal temperature preference. Soaking and leaching promoted germination in one each out of five experiments, while heat had no effect. Smoke enhanced the total germination of three of the six provenances tested, once dormancy was broken by seed coat scarification. The seeds showed considerable salinity tolerance, germinating in solutions of up to 200mM 2 NaCI, although 0 and 25mM NaCI produced higher total germination. As part of this research, a plant tissue culture system was developed that stimulated multiple shoot initiation from different type of explants, resulting in multiple shoot clumps forming on various media within 6 weeks. Aseptic cultures were initiated from mature plants, using apical shoots of 5mm in length and placed on basic MS medium supplemented with 2μM BAP. Three types of explants were investigated: apical buds, nodal cuttings with one axillary bud per explant, and leaf segments of 10mm2 including the mid vein. The formation of adventitious shoots was achieved using half MS medium with B5 vitamins and BAP, kinetin, and zeatin at concentrations of 1, 5, 10 and 25μM with IAA at 1μM. Roots formed when clumps of shootlets were transplanted to the glasshouse environment and planted in perlite:sand:peat potting mixture.

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Johnson, KA., Ahmed, AK., 2005, Developing propagation techniques for Bush Tomato, Report, viewed 06 December 2023,

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