The purpose of this study was to establish an efficient in vitro nodulation device for producing actinorhizal root nodules on Allocasuarina verticillata and Casuarina glauca. Seeds from the two species were germinated aseptically and seedlings with at least two photosynthetic branchlets and a 3–5 cm long root system were transferred into Petri dishes containing a biphasic (solid/liquid) medium. To assess the nodulation capacity, four different culture media were tested. As soon as the root system developed and spread adequately on the surface of the medium, plants were deprived of nitrogen for at least 1 wk and inoculated with the Frankia strain. The time course nodulation for A. verticillata showed that the basal Hoagland medium supplemented with CaCO3 and KNO3 was most efficient, with 83% of plantlets forming nodules, while the medium supplemented with CaCO3 reached 100% nodulation for C. glauca. This procedure can provide a valuable tool for the study of early events of actinorhizal nodulation and spatio-temporal expression of symbiotic genes in transgenic Casuarinaceae.
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Vol. 39 • No. 5