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An effective procedure for producing transformed Centaurium erythraea plants from synthetic seeds is described. Explants were encapsulated in 3% sodium alginate with 3% sucrose. Encapsulated hairy roots were cultured on half-strength Murashige and Skoog (1/2 MS) or Woody Plant (WPM) agar-solidified regeneration media supplemented with 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) or without the cytokinin. The use of WPM with 0.5 mg/L of BAP gave the best shoot formation frequency (86%) and mean number of shoots (15) per root segment. Shoots rooted with 97% frequency on 1/2 MS without growth regulators. Encapsulated shoot buds were cultured on onethird- strength MS agar medium (1/3 MS) supplemented with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) (0.05 mg/L). The plantlet conversion frequency was 32%. The encapsulated hairy roots and shoot buds were stored for 4, 6 or 14 weeks at 4°C. Synthetic seeds encapsulated with 3% sodium alginate with 3% sucrose stored at 4°C remained viable for 6 weeks but their developmental parameters significantly decreased. Adding nutrient medium and growth regulator to the alginate matrix increased plantlet recovery from both non-stored and stored synthetic seeds: synthetic seeds retained their viability and ability to form plantlets even after 14 weeks of storage. Regenerated transformed plantlets of C. erythraea were acclimatized in the greenhouse.
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