This study was conducted to develop an efficient protocol for mass propagation of Curcuma caesia L. Explants from underground rhizomes were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium and it is a slow propagating species. Multiplication and callus induction starting from the rhizome buds and shoot tips of Curcuma caesia in MS medium supplemented with NAA; 0.9 mg/l with kinetin; 0.9 mg/l or NAA; 1.2 mg/l with 6-Benzylaminopurine (BAP; 1.9 mg/l) was the optimum for rapid clonal propagation of Curcuma caesia. Callus induction was conducted with 2,4-dichlorophenoxy-acetic acid (2,4-D; 2.7-3.4 mg/l). Regeneration of plantlets from a callus was successfully conducted in MS medium supplemented with a combination of 2.5 mg/l BAP and 1.0 mg/l NAA for multiplication at 260C under 24 h photoperiod. The best shoots length was obtained on the medium containing 2.0 mg/l of BAP and 2.0 mg/l NAA. Thus, combined effects of BAP and NAA improved significantly the shoot growth and proliferation. MS medium supplemented with a combination of 4.0 mg/l BAP and 2 mg/l IAA gave the highest number of roots. The proliferated shoots were green and healthy in appearance. Finally, healthy and complete plants with well developed roots were hardened, acclimatized and planted in the field successfully with a survival rate of 80%.
Micropropagation is the art and science of plant multiplication in vitro. The process includes many steps–stock plant care, explant selection and sterilization, media manipulation to obtain proliferation, rooting, acclimation, and growing on of liners. Micropropagation is used to multiply novel plants, such as those that have been genetically modified or bred through conventional plant breeding methods.
Frederick Campion Steward was the person who discovered and pioneered micropropagation and plant tissue culture in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Black turmeric or black zedoary (Curcuma caesia) is a perennial herb with bluish-black rhizome, native to North-East and Central India. The rhizome of black turmeric has a high economic importance owing to its putative medicinal properties. In west Bengal, the rhizome of the plant is used in Kali Puja, and hence the plant is called Kali haldi. By etymology, Kali is the feminine form of Kala, which means black color and hence the plant is termed as black turmeric in English. This species has been regarded as endangered by the central forest department of India due to biopiracy.
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