The cultivation of Rhus coriaria, after a long period of abandonment, is spreading again, thanks to the increasing interest in natural products of which this plant is rich. Traditional sumac propagation, difficult and slow, does not guarantee to cover the plant request for new plantings; in vitro tissue culture can be a valid alternative to supply, in a short time and independently of the season, many plants. In this study, three in vitro tissue culture procedures and several auxin/cytokinin combinations were tested in order to identify a successful protocol for the mass propagation of sumac. A satisfying level of sprouts development was obtained from nodal explant culture and from encapsulated microcuttings, while a scarce response was given by in vitro-cultured petioles. None of the methods tested resulted in adventitious root formation; it will, therefore, be necessary to test further auxin/cytokinin combinations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study investigating in vitro sumac propagation, using the encapsulation and petiole culture methods. Results are encouraging and set the basis for further research to improve proliferation efficiency and to induce shoots to root.
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