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Micropropagation and horticultural potential of native Tasmanian Liliaceae and Iridaceae


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Gilmour, DD 2006 , 'Micropropagation and horticultural potential of native Tasmanian Liliaceae and Iridaceae', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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A study encompassing a range of botanical research areas was undertaken to
determine the horticultural potential of some members of the native Tasmanian
Liliaceae and Iridaceae. Six main species were studied: Blandfordia punicea,
Dianella tasmanica and Milligania densiflora from the Liliaceae as well as
Diplarrena moraea, Diplarrena latifolia and Isophysis tasmanica from the Iridaceae.
With the exception of D. tasmanica and D. moraea, all species are endemic to
Seed germination trials were carried out to assess the viability of this method of
propagation. The natural germination percentages were extremely high for B.
punicea (93-100%), D. moraea (97%) and I. tasmanica (90-100%) and reasonably
high for D. latifolia (76%). For D. tasmanica and M. densiflora they were much
lower (38% and 48%, respectively). The germination percentage of M. densiflora
could be increased to 88% simply by germinating the seed in vitro; it could be
increased further to 90% by disinfesting seeds for 35 min and growing them on a 1/2
MS medium. However, for D. tasmanica there are dormancy mechanisms present
which proved more difficult to overcome. The most promising methods for this
species were smoke treatments and partial removal of the testa. The percentage of
seeds germinating increased with increasing smoke extract concentration; however,
100% smoke inhibited germination. Removal of part of the testa and growth in vitro
was the best treatment, with 90% germination achieved.
In vitro propagation was achieved for all species studied. Successful protocols were
devised for disinfestation, shoot initiation and multiplication, rooting and
transplanting to ex vitro conditions. Not all explant types investigated were suitable
for all species, with the major problem being contamination. Meristematic regions
originating underground were more difficult to disinfest than the immature floral
explant types that originated above-ground. In general, a MS or 1/2 MS medium was
suitable for growth of all species studied and BAP (at 8-32µM) was generally
successful for shoot multiplication. Roots often grew on shoots on multiplication media, or could be induced to form on a medium containing NAA (or less
successfully, IAA or IBA) or by placing them on a medium free of plant growth
regulators. Transplanting was successful for all species, with a high percentage of
plantlets surviving. However, they were susceptible to damping off if too much
water was applied.
Experiments were also performed to examine the possibility of forcing D. tasmanica
plants to flower out-of-season. By manipulation of temperature and photoperiod
plants could be forced to flower earlier. The fire-related treatments of smoke and
foliage removal also increased the percentage of flowering plants compared to the

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Gilmour, DD
Keywords: Liliaceae, Iridaceae
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2006 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

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