Genetic Transformation in Boehmeria nivea Gaud. (Ramie Fiber)
The genus Boehmeria (family Urticaceae) comprises more than 150 identified species (Jackson 1895; Davies 1987). One of the economically most important species is ramie, Boehmeria nivea Gaud. Ramie, Tchou in China, and Chinagrass or rhea-fiber in the Anglo saxon regions, is one of the oldest fiber plants known to mankind It is a perennial, shrubby plant, between 1 to 2 m in height, whose stems carry few, short branches. The alternating, long-petiolated leaves are between 10 to 20 cm long; the small, whitish flowers are organized in panicles. The numerous seeds are of the archene type, about 1.5 mm in length. Ramie is usually propagated by parts of its rhizomes and, less frequently, by stem cuttings. Propagation via the diploid seeds is also possible, though impractical due to the large number of sterile seeds and because the few fertile seeds give rise to plants with broad variations with respect to fiber content and quality. Although ramie is an easy-growing crop, it requires heavy manuring and, until the plants are about 60 cm high, interrow cultivation is practiced in order to control weeds (Willimot 1954).
KeywordsLeaf Disk Genetic Transformation Agrobacterium Tumefaciens Nodal Segment Untransformed Control
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