Aerva Lanata (L.) Juss. ex Schult is an important medicinal multipurpose plant that belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. An efficient protocol for In vitro propagation of A. Lanata was established. Nodal segment explants collected from mature shrubs from the Gebel Elba, South Egypt. Explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with different concentrations of 6-benzyl adenine (BA) (2.22, 4.44, 8.90 and 17.80 M) and Kinetin (Kin) (2.32, 4.60, 9.30, and 18.6M) individually for shoot induction. The highest shoot induction percentage (93.33%) with maximum number for shoots (4.07 shoots per explant) was noticed on MS medium supplemented with 4.44 M BA. The maximum number of multiple shoots per explants (9.13) was obtained in the combination BA (4.44 M) and NAA (2.14 M).
For root induction, the highest rooting percentage (80%) with mean root number (4.33 roots per shoot) and length (3.83 cm) of roots were noticed on half- strength MS medium augmented with 4.90 M IBA. Rooted plantlets were transferred into plastic pots containing sand, peat moss and garden soil mixture at equal volumes, and successfully acclimatized in the greenhouse with a survival rate of 73.3%. Plant identification is a crucial aspect to understand and conserve plant diversity from extinction. DNA barcode analysis of A. Lanata was carried out using. The present in vitro propagation protocol would facilitate an alternative method for rapid and large-scal production of this important medicinal plant. We therefore, used the rbcL gene to identify A. lanata. Maximum likelihood tree analysis was performed to evaluate the discriminatory power of the rbcL gene. Our findings showed that using rbcL gene sequences enabled identifying the majority of the samples (90%) to the genus and species level.
Key words: Aerva Lanata, Amaranthaceae, Micropropagation, Plant growth regulator, DNA barcoding, Elba mountain, South Egypt.