26th Oct 2021
What’s the most common flower that strikes your mind when it comes to decorating your house or your little garden?
Is it Lily, Tulips, Roses, Eucalyptus, and Dianthus? Well, these are the top-most cut flowers grown in houses worldwide to add some charm and beauty.
It has gained popularity in the past few years in many countries of the world. The large, pink, showy flowers of Lily give your space a magnificent look from early to midsummer. And, it's in great demand in the floral industry as a cut flower and potted plant due to its beauty, color, long vase life, and capacity to rehydrate after a long transportation.
Lilies are herbaceous perennial plants with white trumpet-shaped, fragrant, and bulbous flowers. The plant ranks 4th in the international flower trade. The most common cultivars of the plants are propagated through vegetative means like bulblets, bulbils, and adventitious bulblet formation on bulb scales.
This article provides an insight into the features of the Lily plants, and their propagation techniques, highlighting the in vitro culture technique for commercial purposes.
Features of the Lily Plant
Lilium is a herbaceous, perennial plant with large prominent flowers, growing from bulbs. They grow up to a height of 26 meters and extend across much of Europe, Japan, India, Indochina, the Philippines, Canada, and the United stated of America.
They are commonly adapted to woodland habitats, often montane, or sometimes to grassland habitats. The plants form naked or tunicless scaly underground bulbs which are their organs of perennation. Most bulls penetrate deep into the ground, whereas some are present near the soil surface.
The flowers are large, often fragrant, and come in a wide range of colors including whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds, and purples. The flowers are borne in racemes or umbels at the tip of the stem, with six tepals spreading or reflexed, to give flowers varying from funnel shape to a "Turk's cap".
The most common varieties of the genus include Lilium longiflorum, Lilium martigon, Lilium henryi, Lilium regale, and Lilium orientalis.
Lilium longiflorum is commonly known as Easter Lily. It grows from about 50 cm (20 in) to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) tall. They have long oval leaves and produce pure white flowers on top of the stem. In this article, you will learn further about the in vitro propagation of Lilies.
Tissue Culture of Lily
Lilies are popular cut flowers in the commercial space because of their large and attractive blossoms. The Lilium longiflorum Thunb. cultivars are very popular in the USA, some European and Asian countries.
Conventionally, lilies are propagated by scaling, a technique that produces 3–5 bulbs from each bulb scale, depending on species, cultivar, and scale size. But, it’s difficult to obtain large numbers of bulbs from disease-free stock or new cultivars in a short period of time using this technique. And, that’s why tissue culture is the best alternative to propagate lilies at commercial scale.
Given below is a procedure for in vitro propagation of Lilies, taken from the study of Han, B. H. et. al. (2004). In vitro micropropagation of Lilium longiflorum “Georgia” by shoot formation as influenced by the addition of liquid medium.
- Collect bulb scales from bulblets of L. longiflorum.
- Wash the bulb scales under running water and soak in a fungicide solution for 30 minutes.
- Soak the explants in 20% and 10% chloric solution each for 15 minutes then rinse with sterile water 3 times.
- Culture the surface-sterilized explants on solidified (0.1% Phytogel and 0.4% Junsei agar) MS media supplemented with 2.2 μM BA to induce shoots s from the base part of bulb scales.
- Adjust the pH of the media to 5.8 before autoclaving at 121 ◦C for 15 min.
- The shoot clusters will appear in a few weeks.
- For shoot proliferation, cut the shoot clusters longitudinally into 5–7 mm segments and culture them on MS medium supplemented with 2.2 μM BA and 2.9 μM IAA.
- Incubate all cultures at every stage at 25 ± 2 ◦C with a 16 h photoperiod per day at a quantum flux density of 40 μmol m−2 s−1 from white fluorescent lamps.
- Leave the cultures in light to multiply shoots for 8 weeks.
- Prepare the liquid medium supplemented with 5.0–10.0 g/L activated charcoal and 250 g/L sucrose to induce the growth of in vitro bulblets from shoot clusters.
- Fill test tubes with 30 ml MS media and autoclave at 121℃ for 15 minutes.
- Then, pour the sterilized media in the test tube into each culture vessel containing explants.
- After the bulblets are formed, treat them with a cold temperature at 5 ◦C for 2 months.
- After that, wash the plantlets with running tap water and transfer them to regular containers, containing cultivation soil mixed with perlite 1:vermiculite 1, in the greenhouse.
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- Han, B. H., Yu, H. J., Yae, B. W., & Peak, K. Y. (2004). In vitro micropropagation of Lilium longiflorum “Georgia” by shoot formation as influenced by the addition of liquid medium. Scientia Horticulturae, 103(1), 39–49. doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2004.04.020.
- Kumar, S., Kanwar, J. K., & Sharma, D. R. (2006). In vitro propagation of Lilium. Advances in Horticultural Science, 20(2), 181–188. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42882479.
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