Micropropagation of Mediterranean and exotic shrubs: protocols for endangered and high-value plant species.
Sicily is a southern region of Italy with mild winters and hot dry summers and, as part of the Mediterranean basin, is defined a hotspot of plant biodiversity. Therefore, the Research Centre for Plant Protection and Certification of Palermo has been involved in national and regional research projects aimed to the conservation of the autochthonous biodiversity for landscaping and functional uses. Moreover, other projects are related to the introduction of new exotic germplasm for ornamental scopes and breeding. Therefore, numerous spontaneous (Caralluma, Erica multiflora, hawthorn, lentisk, Mount Etna broom, myrtle, St. John's wort) and exotic shrubs have been introduced and propagated in vitro using different techniques (low frequency magnetic fields, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, tissue regeneration). For each species, an efficient micropropagation protocol has been defined. In the present paper, the influence of culture media, plant growth regulators on multiplication and rooting rates are reported.