Shoot cultures of three Hibiscus moscheutos (L.) cultivars were infested with micro-arthropods (mites). Nodal segments (1 cm long) were excised from these cultures and encapsulated in a sodium alginate gelled Driver and Kuniyuki Walnut DKW medium containing 10, 50, or 100 mg l−1 acephate (insecticide) or 10 mg l−1 acephate plus 0, 50, or 100 mg l−1 benomyl (fungicide), then placed in refrigerated (5°C) darkness for 4 wk. Acephate was tested alone if visible fungus was not touching the shoot masses and benomyl was tested if fungus was in contact with the proliferating shoots. Cold-stored encapsulated nodes were then placed on DKW medium with 0.1 μM thidiazuron for 6 wk for subsequent shoot development. The presence of acephate in the encapsulation medium completely eradicated or killed the mites, with 38–69% of cultures fungus-free; 12% of the fungal-contaminated nodes encapsulated with 100 mg l−1 benomyl were fungus-free.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3