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Original Article

In Vitro conservation and propagation of the endemic species of “Floating Hearts” (Nymphoides krishnakesara Joseph and Sivar. - Menyanthaceae) as a conservation strategy.

Swetha Thilak T, Anusree P, Saranya Babu Jayaprakash CM, Smitha RB, Minoo Divakaran, Madhusoodanan PV, Prakashkmar R.

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Nymphoides krishnakesara Joseph & Sivar. (Menyanthaceae), an endangered aquatic angiosperm, endemic to Kerala, was multiplied and propagated through in vitro culture. It is a rare species with a very restricted distribution occurring in a single location. It is an annual herb, grows in shallow temporary pools on laterite. The nodal explants when cultured in MS medium attained bud break in 20 days. Maximum multiple shoot proliferation observed in 1.0 mgL-1 BAP (80 shoots /explant). Shoots developed in vitro were rooted in MS medium with both IBA (1.0 mgL-1) and NAA (mgL-1). Roots developed in IBA are found to be more favourable based on the histological studies. The rooted plantlets were then transferred to the field after hardening and they flowered after two months. Total time taken from explants to flowering is ten months. This work standardises an easy protocol for mass production of plantlets and thus enhances conservation of this endemic and rare aquatic plant. The hardened plants were successfully reintroduced and recorded 100% survival success.

Key words: Endemic, Nymphoides, in vitro, multiplication, protocol

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