Master of Science (MS)


Plant, Environmental Management and Soil Sciences

Document Type



Uniola paniculata, commonly known as sea oats, is a C4 perennial grass capable of stabilizing sand dunes. Although this species is extensively used in beach restoration projects, production and availability of sea oats seedlings is seriously constrained due to disappearance of the natural stands. Other limitations are poor seed production, seed dormancy, and low seedling survival. With increasing interest in dune restoration, an efficient micropropagation technique is essential to generate sea oats seedlings in mass scale. In this study an efficient, rapid and reproducible plant regeneration system was successfully established for sea oats through somatic embryogenesis and cotyledonary nodal culture. Six sea oats accessions, collected from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas were tried for embryogenic callus induction and plant regeneration using mature seeds. Two accessions, one each from Louisiana and North Carolina, were tested for shoot multiplication using cotyledonary nodes as explants. The frequency of callus induction was studied using modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with a variety of combinations of 2, 4-D and Kinetin. Transferring the callus to a lower concentration of 2, 4-D (9.05 µM) in combination with Kn (2.32 µM) increased the embryogenic callus mass. Callus was regenerated in MS medium supplemented with BAP, NAA and Kn and 83.26 mM maltose. Similarly, for cotyledonary nodal culture MS medium supplemented with different concentration of BAP with 87.64 mM sucrose and MS medium in combination with BAP (4.44 µM), NAA (2.69 µM), Kn (2.32 µM) with 83.26 mM maltose were tested. Presence of Kn and NAA enhanced the process of multiplication but the maximum number of plantlets were regenerated in presence of BAP only. All the plantlets were rooted in MS medium supplemented with NAA (5.38 µM) and Kn (0.46 µM). In Texas and Florida accessions, 8 % and 10 % of the plants were albinos, respectively, but no morphological aberration was observed. RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) analysis using 5 arbitrary oligonucleotide decamers revealed genetic uniformity among the regenerants of each accession of sea oats developed via somatic embryogenesis and cotyledonary nodal culture, suggesting that this protocol can be used for clonal propagation of sea oats on a commercial basis.



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Committee Chair

Prasanta K. Subudhi