Date of this Version
HortScience, 39(5):1079-1082. 2004.
RAPD and phenotypic analysis were conducted to assess clonal stability of hazelnuts generated from axillary buds cultured in vitro for long-term. The nuts produced on in vitro-propagated plants were indistinguishable from those of donor plants. With the exception of rare horizontal (plagiotropic) growth, all in vitro-propagated plants exhibited phenotypes similar to those of donor plants. RAPD analysis did not reveal any somaclonal variation between donor plants from which in vitro cultures were initiated and micropropogated plants (6-year cultures), and no somaclonal variation was detected among in vitro propogated plants. However, polymorphism (15.6%) was detected between the parent plant and its in vitro propagated progenies (from seedlings). These results show a good discriminatory power of RAPD to detect polymorphism between samples where it is expected, and it can be effectively used for genetic assessment of micropropagated hazelnut. No evidence of genetic or epigenetic changes was observed in long-term cultured hazelnut, and thus long-term in vitro culture of hazelnut does not seem to limit its colonal propagation.