A simple and rapid protocol for somatic embryogenesis in banana cv. Nendran (AAB) using immature male flowers (IMF) has been developed. The IMF produced palewhite to yellow, globular embryogenic callus on MS medium supplemented with BA (0.05 - 0.50mgL-1) and picloram (0.50 - 2.00mgL-1) with explant response of to 30 per cent. Addition of ascorbic acid (20mgL-1) and Gelrite© (0.45 per cent) to callus induction medium reduced interference from phenolic exudation. Embryogenesis was induced (33.3 to 60 per cent) on semisolid (0.30 per cent Gelrite©) MS medium supplemented with BA 2mgL-1 + IAA 0.5mgL-1. The somatic embryos showed 60-80 per cent germination on half- strength semisolid MS medium with BA 2mgL-1 + IAA 0.5mgL-1. Transfer of germinated embryos to semisolid MS medium supplemented with BA 2mgL-1 + NAA 1mgL-1 under 14 h light /8h dark photoperiod resulted in hundred percent conversion to plantlets. This protocol takes merely 6 months for producing plantlets from immature flower buds through somatic embryogenesis, without any intermediate liquid cultures.
Immature Male Flowers, Somatic Embryogenesis, Picloram, Musa spp., Nendran.