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Propagation Techniques for Cyclamen persicum By: Petra Guenthner-Johnson (PLSC 368, Fall 2005, Dr. Chiwon Lee) ABSTRACT The potted Cyclamen persicum, commonly known as ‘Florist’s Cyclamen’, has become a popular indoor blooming plant. The cyclamen plant can be a rewarding addition to any houseplant enthusiast's collection. The following paper highlights methods for its propagation by seed, division and in vitro somatic embryogenesis. INTRODUCTION The cyclamen plants we see in stores today are i
  PropagationTechniques forCyclamen persicum By: Petra Guenthner-Johnson (PLSC 368, Fall 2005, Dr. Chiwon Lee) A BSTRACT The potted Cyclamen persicum , commonly known as ‘Florist’s Cyclamen’, has become a popular indoor blooming plant. The cyclamen plant can be a rewarding addition to anyhouseplant enthusiast's collection. The following paper highlights methods for its propagation byseed, division and in vitro somatic embryogenesis.  I NTRODUCTION The cyclamen plants we see in stores today are intra-specific hybrids of  Cyclamen persicum , commonly known as‘Florist’s cyclamen’. Florist’s cyclamen comes in many differentforms, from large to mini cultivars showing blooms of red, purple, pink or white and even ruffled cultivars. The potted indoor blooms we are familiar with are F1hybrid seed strains srcinally bred in the mid-nineteenth centuryusing selection and back-crossing ( Cyclamen persicum hybrids have been propagated sexually for commercial and private use. Gardenersin USDA hardiness zones 5a and above can use seed to producecyclamen for their perennial gardens. But, with the rising popularity of cyclamen as houseplants inbred depression,inhomogeneity in some cultivars, and the high costs of manuallabor involved in seed production have become concerns for commercial cyclamen growers(Winklemann et al. 2004).Vegetative propagation of  Cyclamen persicum is more difficult than with manyhouseplants. There has been little success with using stem cuttings, and although propagation bydivision is possible Cyclamen persicum tubers have few growing points, this makes mass propagation by division impractical.  M ETHODS   OF P ROPAGATION Seed Propagation There are many different suggestions for growing cyclamen from seed; the following arethe summarized suggestions from the Cyclamen Society website:  The Cyclamen persicum produces seed in mature blooms that have been fertilized. You canrecognize a seed-producing stem because the stem does not wilt after the bloom has faded.Gather the seed from the capsule just before it splits open, the seed should be a light brown color.  Soak the seed in warm water with a drip of detergent for 24 hours.  Sow the seed in containers that are approximately 6 inches deep, transplantingrecommended until after the second growing season. The seed can be planted about ¾ inch apart and about ¼ inch deep.  Cyclamen seeds should be germinated in the dark in temperatures of 55-60°F.To enhance uniformity and vigor of seedlings commercial growers often soak cyclamenseed in 500-1000ppm solution GA-3 for 24-48 hrs. Micropropagation  Within the last 10-15 years researchers have been working on methods for propagating Cyclamen persicum in vitro. Micropropagation of cyclamen plants allows growers to produceclones of the mother plants, thus avoiding problems with inbred depression and inhomogeneity.Large scale production the somatic embryos of  Cyclamen persicum is still beingresearched. A 1995 study outlines the process for developing somatic embryos in a liquidmedium. In brief summary, cyclamen tubers forming on 5 week old seedling plants were used asexplant material to proliferate ‘pro-embryogenic masses’ or PEMs (formed from the central pith,vascular bundles and pericycle tissue of the tuber), these were developed into somatic embryos,and finally into complete plants (Kreuger et al. 1995) F UTURE W ORK  N EEDED There are still problems with using somatic embryos to produce clonally propagatedcyclamen plants. Somatic embryos lack the seed coat and endosperm that allow zygotic embryosto survive in poor environmental conditions. This means that embryos produced by tissue culturemethods cannot be stored long. Researchers are currently considering the benefits of cryopreservation and osmotic coats in prolonging the embryo’s useful life. A NY   QUESTIONS   OR    COMMENTS   CONTACT   ME   AT P ETRA .G UENTHNER  -J OHNSON @ NDSU . EDU
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