The species, Kniphofia leucocephala is extant at only one location, Langepan, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where the population is threatened by afforestation and possibly grazing. Consequently, a continuous culture system was established as part of a program for the propagation and re-introduction of plants into the wild. The efficiency of the system in terms of shoot multiplication and, particularly, the frequency and rate of root initiation was strongly influenced by the concentration of benzyladenine in the shoot multiplication medium. The optimum shoot multiplication medium for subsequent root initiation contained 2 mg l−1 (8.9 μM) benzyladenine alone. The shoots were successfully rooted and acclimatized. Approximately 200 shoots can be produced from one shoot after five 4-wk cycles. Thus, large numbers of plantlets can be propagated in this continuous culture system, serving conservation interests.
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Vol. 39 • No. 5