Micropropagation of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni Using RITA (R) Bioreactor
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Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is used for medicinal and food purposes. The effectiveness of different culture systems in Stevia micropropagation was evaluated. Node explants were cultured in semisolid or RITA (R) bioreactor containing woody plant medium (WPM) without plant growth regulators (PGRs). The effect of three medium volumes (100, 200, and 300 mL) and four immersion frequencies (10 seconds every 1, 4, 6, or 8 hours) were assessed. The shoots and roots developed simultaneously in the RITA (R) bioreactor treatment containing 100 mL of WPM at 10 seconds/4 hours immersion frequency and the healthiest plantlets were obtained from this RITA (R) treatment using 5 mL of medium per explant. The root induction rate was 100% in nonhyperhydrated shoots obtained from both semisolid and RITA (R) bioreactor, and all of them were successfully acclimatized. Thus, an economical and viable protocol was developed by performing the micropropagation in one step, eliminating the use of agar and PGRs, and decreasing the amount of medium used per explant.