Production of callus and roots from lateral meristems of Loeselia mexicana

Lizeth Aguirre-Alberto, Maria de Lourdes Martinez-Cardenas


Background: Loeselia mexicana, known as Mexican false calico, or espinosilla in Spanish, is a widely distributed secondary forest plant with a significant number of medicinal and cosmetic uses. This species is threatened by the lack of regulation over collection methods and changes in land use. In vitro culture could be used to preserve the species by shoot induction, callus production and cell-suspension to obtain secondary metabolites; this would reduce the need to affect wild populations.

Hypothesis: A combination of cytokinins and auxins can induce structural development in the plant, promoting the formation of shoots, roots or callus in vitro. By applying this combination to L. mexicana stem segments, we expected to observe new shoots or callus.

Study site and dates: “El Teuhtli” volcano, Xochimilco; from June 2015 to February 2016.

Methods: Distal stems cuttings were used as explants. They were disinfected with 1 % soap, 0.6 sodium hypochlorite and 70 % ethanol, and rinsed with distilled water. Two different times of disinfection with ethanol were tested. The distal stem segments were then planted in solid MS medium with 3, 5 or 7 mg L-1 KIN combined with 3 mg L-1 NAA, and 2 % AC.

Results: A favorable response was observed in the treatment with 5 mg L-1 KIN and 3 mg L-1 NAA, which produced green callus with root in five weeks. Furthermore, a lower explant mortality rate was achieved, 46.66 % in three weeks, with a shorter disinfection time.

Conclusions: Disinfection time is important for this species, and callus production is possible.


callus; espinosilla; medicinal; meristems; organogenesis

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