Low Cost Micropropagation of Local Varieties of Taro (Colocasia esculenta spp.)
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Aims: This study was conducted to evaluate low cost protocol for the micropropagation of three varieties of taro (Dasheen, Eddoe and wild) from eastern Kenya. Study Design: The plants were grown in polythene bags arranged in a completely randomized block design (CRBD) replicated nine times. Place and Duration of Study: Department of plant sciences Kenyatta University in plant and tissue culture laboratory, between June 2010 and December 2011. Methodology: The three media types tested were Omex foliar feed (LCM1), Stanes micronutrients (LCM2) and micro food (LCM3) as substitute for Murashige and Skoog (MS) media. Results: The results showed significant differences (p˂0.05) in the shoot generation for Eddoe and wild varieties in LCM1 and LCM2 respectively compared to LCM3 and MS. Plants grown in MS media and LCM3 had the longest height compared to LCM1 and LCM2. Naphthalene Acetic Acid (NAA) and Citishooter did not show any significant differences on the number of roots. All the regenerated plants in this study were similar in morphology and vigour. Media cost was reduced by 94.7% (LCM1) and 96% for both LCM2 and LCM3. Conclusion: This study indicates the potential of low cost media as a substitute for conventional micro propagation.