In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant

, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 626–636 | Cite as

Micropropagation of virus-free plants of Saudi fig (Ficus carica L.) and their identification through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods

  • Hassan S. M. Al-Zahrani
  • Omar A. Almaghrabi
  • Michael P. Fuller
  • Hemaid I. A. Soliman
  • Muhammad FarooqEmail author
  • Ehab M. R. Metwali
Plant Tissue Culture


Viral infection is one of the most serious biotic stresses, which disturbs the growth and productivity of many horticultural crops, including that of fig (Ficus carica L.). The production of plants free of viruses, such as fig mosaic virus (FMV), has become a priority in many plant breeding programs. In this study, leaves from plants of two fig cultivars, Kodato and Dattora, infected with FMV were collected from both Mecca and Al-Taif, Saudi Arabia. Transmission electron microscopy of ultrathin leaf sections showed double membrane bodies, characteristic of FMV particles, only in the mesophyll cells of infected samples. Protein analysis using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of a protein band with a molecular weight of 35 kDa, which corresponded to the viral coat protein; and FMV was confirmed by Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests. To obtain virus-free plants, apical shoot culture was applied. A comparison of various artificial media with different concentrations of growth regulators was evaluated to optimize shoot formation, shoot multiplication, and root formation, and was followed by plant acclimation ex vitro. Direct ELISA analysis of shoots micropropagated from meristem tip explants indicated that there were virus-free shoots, when compared to infected plants (positive control), while there were no significant differences between these explants and healthy samples (negative control). This study demonstrated that in vitro micropropagation of Saudi F. carica infected with FMV virus led to the successful elimination of the virus.


ELISA test Ficus carica L. Fig mosaic virus Shoot apex Micropropagation Western blot 



The authors are thankful to the Tissue culture and Biotechnology Labs, Marout Research Station, Desert Research Center, Egypt.

Funding information

This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant No. G-206-130-38. The authors, therefore, acknowledge with thanks DSR for the technical and financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Science Department, Faculty of ScienceKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Biological Science Department, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of JeddahJeddahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.School of Biological and Marine Sciences, Faculty of Science and EngineeringUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  4. 4.Plant Genetic Resources DepartmentDesert Research CenterCairoEgypt
  5. 5.Tissue Culture and Biotechnology LabsMaryout Research Station, Desert Research CenterAlexandriaEgypt
  6. 6.Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine SciencesSultan Qaboos UniversityAl-KhoudOman
  7. 7.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  8. 8.The UWA Institute of AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  9. 9.Botany Department, Faculty of AgricultureSuez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt

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