American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2013, 4, 2174-2180
Published Online November 2013 (
Open Access AJPS
The Effects of Auxins and Cytokinin on Growth and
Development of (Musa sp.) Var. “Yangambi” Explants in
Tissue Culture
Munguatosha Ngomuo1, Emerald Mneney2, Patrick Ndakidemi1*
1School of Life Sciences, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania; 2Mikocheni Agricul-
tural Research Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Email: *
Received August 12th, 2013; revised September 12th, 2013; accepted October 21st, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Munguatosha Ngomuo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of concentration of different growth regulators (auxins and cyto-
kinins) on growth and development of banana shoot tips cultured in vitro. Explants were taken from young suckers of
field grown plants of var. “Yangambi”. The shoot tips were cultured on MS media supplemented with different concen-
trations of BAP (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 mg/l) with or without IAA at concentration of 0.34 mg/l. At the rooting phase, the me-
dia was supplemented with different concentrations of IBA (0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 mg/l) with or without BAP at
concentration of 0.2 mg/l. The results indicated that 6.0 mg/l BAP significantly increased the number of shoots formed
and the interaction of 6 mg/l BAP with 0.35 mg/l IAA significantly increased the fresh weight. For rooting, 2.0 mg/l
IBA was more efficient in number and length of roots produced than all other treatments.
Keywords: Bud’s Proliferation; Fresh Weight; In-Vitro Rooting; Root Length; Micro Propagation; Shoot Length;
Var. “Yangambi”
1. Introduction
Growth regulators play a key role for developing a spe-
cific mode of growth in the cultured cells or tissues,
which may be due to accumulation of specific biochemi-
cal contents in them. The single or combination of dif-
ferent hormones in the medium causes maintenance of
specific and balanced inorganic and organic contents in
the growing tissue. This leads the cells or tissues to de-
velop either into shoots/or roots or even death [1].
In tissue culture, plant growth regulators are important
media components in determining the development and
developmental pathway of the plant cells. Growth regu-
lators are used in different proportions to break dor-
mancy and enhance shoot formation since it is well
demonstrated that the apical dormancy is under control
of these growth regulators [2]. The cytokinins and auxins
are of importance in in-vitro culture as the later are con-
cerned with root formation, the former is mainly required
in the media for shoot formation and growth of buds [3].
These growth regulators are required in combination in
the media as it is always the manipulation and variation
of auxins and cytokinins levels that can successfully
change the growth behavior of plant cultures [4].
Cytokinins such as benzyl aminopurine (BAP) and ki-
netin are known to reduce the apical meristem domi-
nance and induce both axiliary and adventitious shoot
formation from meristematic explants in banana [5].
However, the application of higher BAP concentrations
inhibits elongation of adventitious meristems and the
conversion into complete plants [6].
Auxins and other growth regulators such as gibberel-
lins play important roles in the growth and differentiation
of cultured cells and tissues [7,8]. Auxins such as Naph-
talene acetic acid (NAA) have been reported to promote
plant rooting in vitro [9,10].
The use of cytokinin in plant nutrient media for in-vi-
tro culture depends on plant tissue growth stage and ex-
pected end product.
In studies conducted on banana, apical meristems were
*Corresponding author.
The Effects of Auxins and Cytokinin on Growth and Development of
(Musa sp.) Var. “Yangambi” Explants in Tissue Culture
cultured in media of high cytokinin concentration or
lower cytokinin at the first stage then transferred to a
media with higher cytokinin concentration where the
increase in concentration especially BA significantly
enhanced buds proliferation [10].
Apart from the influence of genotypes, shoot prolifera-
tion rate and elongation are influenced by cytokinin types
and their concentration. Adenine-based cytokinins are
used in several Musa spp. for in-vitro propagation [11].
N6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) is the most commonly
preferred cytokinin [9]. The others are isopentyladenine
(2-ip), zeatin and kinetin [12]. The concentration of ex-
ogenous cytokinin appears to be the main factor affecting
Many other studies have reported the use of auxins and
cytokinin in tissue culture. Gubbuk and Pekmzci (2004)
[11] reported that moderate concentrations of cytokinins
increased the shoot proliferation rate, but very high con-
centrations decreased multiplication and especially de-
pressed shoot elongation. Also they reported higher shoot
proliferation and elongation with Thidiazuron (TDZ)
than with BAP. However, BAP above 20 μM and TDZ
over 2 μM decreased shoot elongation. The use of TDZ
is known to inhibit shoot elongation. In another study, it
was found that TDZ at 0.91 μM induced the largest
number of shoots, but at higher concentration of TDZ
(9.1 μM), elongation of shoots was inhibited and clumps
of small globular buds appeared at the base of shoots
In a study on effects of auxin/cytokinin combination
on shoot proliferation on banana cultivars, Arinaitwe et
al. reported that incorporation of a strong auxin in the
media suppressed the shoot proliferation rates of the ba-
nana cultivars [15]. On media modified with low cyto-
kinin/auxin ratios, for example 16.8/1.0 and 16.8/1.2
ZN/NAA combinations, the East African Highland ba-
nana (AAA-EA) cultivars showed single shoot develop-
ment and callus induction due to apical dominance re-
sulted from increased level of auxin concentration [15].
In another study, Buah et al. [15] demonstrated that dif-
ferences exist in the relative strengths of different cyto-
kinin types in inducing shoots. This differential ability of
different hormones in inducing shoots in vitro may be
attributed to factors such as stability, mobility and the
rate of conjugation and oxidation of hormones.
The concentration and combination of auxins and cy-
tokinins in the nutrient mediums is an important factor
which determines successful plant regeneration [16].
Thus for efficient in-vitro propagation of banana the
study of optimum combination of cytokinins and auxins
and their interaction in a tissue culture medium for a spe-
cific cultivar is necessary.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Plant Materials and Sterilization
Young suckers of Musa var. “Yangambi” were collected
from a healthy true to type mother plants. After removing
the leaves and the roots, the suckers were thoroughly
washed with tape water and liquid soap to remove ad-
hering soil. The suckers were trimmed to size by remov-
ing layers of the developing leaves. Then the suckers
were rinsed with clean tape water and soaked in 1 g/l
ascorbic acid for one hour before transfer to laminar flow.
The shoot apices explants were sequentially treated with
70% alcohol for 30 seconds, then treated with 100% (v/v)
hypochlorite (the active ingredient was 3.85% sodium
hypochlorite) mixed with few drops of Tween 20 for one
hour in order to sterilize the surface. This was then fol-
lowed with treatment of 50% (v/v) hypochlorite of the
same active ingredient for 30 minutes. The explants were
further trimmed to remove the remaining hypochlorite
and rinsed with sterile distilled water before initiation.
2.2. Culture Conditions and Media for Buds
The explants were placed in culture vessels containing 20
mls of culture media containing MS basal salts
supplemented with 20 g/l sucrose, vitamins; glycine 2 g/l,
pyridoxine 0.5 g/l, Nicotinic acid 0.5 g/l, Thiamine 0.1
g/l and Myo inositol at 0.1 g/l. The media was also sup-
plemented with different concentrations of BAP and IAA
as shown in (Table 1) and solidified with 4.5 g/l of agar.
The pH was adjusted to 5.8 prior to autoclaving at 121˚C
for 15 min.
2.3. Roots Initiation Media
Good established shoots were transferred to root initia-
tion media. This media consisted of MS basal salts with
Table 1. Different concentrations of BAP and IAA used for
buds proliferation.
Treatments Concentration (mg/l)
MS + BAP 0
MS + BAP 2
MS + BAP 4
MS + BAP 6
MS + BAP 8
MS + (BAP + IAA) 0 + 0.35
MS + (BAP + IAA) 2 + 0.35
MS + (BAP + IAA) 4 + 0.35
MS + (BAP + IAA) 6 + 0.35
MS + (BAP + IAA) 8 + 0.35
Open Access AJPS
The Effects of Auxins and Cytokinin on Growth and Development of
(Musa sp.) Var. “Yangambi” Explants in Tissue Culture
20 g/l sucrose, vitamins glycine 2 g/l, pyridoxine 0.5 g/l,
Nicotinic acid 0.5 g/l, Thiamine 0.1 g/l and Myo inositol
at 0.1 g/l. The media also contained 0.8 g/l of activated
charcoal (AC) to mimic the soil environment. It was sup-
plemented with different concentrations of auxin as
treatments for rooting; IBA with or without BAP as
shown in (Table 2) and solidified with 4.5 g/l of agar.
Each treatment was replicated five times and one explant
was cultured in each culture bottle. The pH of the media
was adjusted to 5.8 before addition of agar. The media
were autoclaved at 121˚C and 1.05kg/cm3 for 15 minutes.
The cultures were incubated at 25˚C ± 1˚C and 16 and 8
hrs light and darkness respectively.
2.4. Data Collection and Analysis
After four weeks the following parameters were meas-
ured; fresh weight (g), number of shoots, height (cm),
roots length (cm) and number of roots. The data collected
were analyzed for statistical significance using analysis
of variance (ANOVA). These computations were done
by using a statistical software program STATISTICA
version 2013 (StatSoft Inc., Tulsa, OK, USA). Fisher
least significance was used to compare means at p = 0.05
level of significance.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. The Effect of BAP Concentration on Bud
Proliferation Rate
The findings of this study demonstrated the effects of
cytokoinins on shoots formation and multiplication. In
this experiment, the use of BAP alone or in combination
with IAA had no significant (p 0.05) effect on buds
proliferation (Table 3). However, different concentra-
tions regimes of BAP with and without IAA had signifi-
cant effect on the number of buds produced as well as
Table 2. Different concentrations of IBA and BAP used for
Treatments Concentration (mg/l)
MS + IBA 0
MS + IBA 0.5
MS + IBA 1.0
MS + IBA 1.5
MS + IBA 2.0
MS + (IBA + BAP) 0 + 0.2
MS + (IBA + BAP) 0.5 + 0.2
MS + (IBA + BAP) 1.0 + 0.2
MS + (IBA + BAP) 1.5 + 0.2
MS + (IBA + BAP) 2.0 + 0.2
fresh weight increase in buds produced. It was observed
that the number of buds produced increased with increase
in concentration. A significantly (p 0.001) highest
number of buds were observed when 6mg/l was used
(Table 3). Slightly increase in number of buds was also
observed in other treatments with low concentrations
compared with the control. Bhosale et al. [17], in a study
on in vitro shoot multiplication of different species of
banana similarly reported increased average number of
shoots produced at nearly same level of BAP (7 mg/l). In
another study, Sajid et al. [18], found that presence of
cytokinin in the media did not only determined regenera-
tion response of banana meristem cultures but also af-
fected the mode of regeneration. The initial response of
explants to shoot formation due to addition of cytokinin
is mediated by an increase in the cytosolic calcium con-
centration which is promoted by its high uptake from the
media. This affects cytoskeleton and regulates exocytosis
Other studies by [12,20,21] observed that 5mg/l BAP
was the most efficient concentration for in vitro bud
proliferation of many banana cultivars. In a review on
banana cell and tissue culture, Strosse et al. [22] in-
dicated that for multiplication of propagules, a medium
containing a range of concentration 0.1 - 20 mg/ of BA is
added to the media.
In this study, higher concentration beyond 6 mg/l did
not enhance fresh weight or number of buds produced.
At concentration of 8 mg/l the number of buds produced
was less compared with concentrations of 4 mg/l and 6
mg/l. Higher concentrations of cytokinin tend to have an
adverse effect on the multiplication rate and morphology
of the culture [5,22].
Generally, this study indicates that increasing concen-
tration of BAP for this particular variety enhanced the
fresh weight and buds formations. Addition of 6 mg/l to
the growth media showed best results compared with all
other treatments (Figure 1). This seems to be the optimal
concentration for this variety. In vitro buds proliferation
of banana is reported to be cultivar dependent [23]. Also
Strosse et al. [24] indicated that the rate of shoots
multiplication depends both on the cytokinin concen-
tration and the genotype of banana.
3.2. The Effect of BAP and IAA Concentration
on Fresh Weight and Shoot Length
Generally, the results indicated that like in buds prolif-
eration, fresh weight increase was significantly (p 0.01)
better at higher concentration (6 mg/l) (Table 3). Treat-
ments supplied with 6 mg/l showed best results in terms
of fresh weight followed by treatments with 2 mg/l and 8
mg/l. Other studies reported that combinations of BAP
with IAA or IBA were more efficient for in vitro multi-
Open Access AJPS
The Effects of Auxins and Cytokinin on Growth and Development of
(Musa sp.) Var. “Yangambi” Explants in Tissue Culture
Open Access AJPS
Table 3. Effect of BAP concentration with and without IAA on the number of buds formed, fresh weight and shoot length.
Growth Parameters
Treatment Number of Buds Fresh Weight Shoot Length
Growth Regulators
BAP 5.42 ± 0.47a 3.26 ± 0.23a 3.66 ± 0.30a
BAP + IAA 6.06 ± 0.56a 3.54 ± 0.28a 3.79 ± 0.28a
0 mg/l 1.45 ± 0.21e 2.40 ± 0.27b 3.09 ± 0.39a
2 mg/l 4.45 ± 0.61d 3.70 ± 0.38ab 3.23 ± 0.35a
4 mg/l 7.30 ± 0.54bcd 3.14 ± 0.24b 4.11 ± 0.33a
6 mg/l 9.55 ± 0.66ab 4.19 ± 0.76ab 4.45 ± 0.65a
8 mg/l 5.95 ± 0.61cd 3.56 ± 0.39ab 3.82 ± 0.47a
2-Way ANOVA (F – Statistic)
Growth Regulators 1.66ns 0.70ns 0.11ns
Concentration 29.99*** 3.17** 1.63ns
Growth Regul * Conc 0.56ns 2.66** 0.41ns
**p 0.01; ***0.001. Values (Mean ± SE) Followed by dissimilar letter(s) in a column are significantly different by Least Significant Difference test at P = 0.05.
ns = non-significant.
Figure 2. Interactive effect of BAP with IAA on fresh
weight of buds produced.
Figure 1. Some of banana shoots developed in vitro at con-
centration of 6 mg/l BAP and 0.35 mg/IAA.
cultured banana is also reported by Hussein [10], where-
by supplementing NAA to increasing concentration of
BA (from 0.2 to 0.4 mg/l) resulted in higher fresh weight
and plant height.
plication of bananas and plantains [24]. As reported ear-
lier, increase in fresh weight may also be attributed to
increased cytosolic calcium concentration resulting from
enhanced uptake from the media due to the use of higher
amount of BAP. In terms of shoot length increase, there was no
significant difference across all the treatments, though
slight increases were observed in the treatments with
relatively high concentration. These findings did not
agree with the results of Al-Amin et al. [25], where the
MS media supplemented with BAP and NAA in their
study showed different results for increasing shoot length
Interactive effect of BAP and IAA was also observed
in fresh weight (Figure 2). The media with 6 mg/l of
BAP in combination with 0.35 mg/l IAA, significantly (p
0.01) resulted in high fresh weight as compared with
other treatments (Table 3). The interactive effect of
cytokinin and auxin in enhancing growth of tissue
The Effects of Auxins and Cytokinin on Growth and Development of
(Musa sp.) Var. “Yangambi” Explants in Tissue Culture
which was significantly influenced by different con-
centration of these hormones.
3.3. The Effect of IBA and BAP Concentration
on the Number of Roots per Explant
Produced in Vitro
In this study, there was no significant difference between
MS media supplemented with IBA alone and media sup-
plemented with IBA and BAP in terms of number of
roots produced per explant (Table 4). However, signifi-
cant (p 0.001) increase in number of roots produced
was observed with increased concentration. The concen-
tration of 2.0 mg/l exhibited superiority over all other
treatments in terms of number of roots produced (6.1
roots per explant) (Figure 3(a)). This was followed by
concentration of 1.5 mg/l while the concentrations of 1.0
mg/l and 0.5 mg/l statistically produced same number of
roots per explant. In vitro rooting of banana can be in-
duced by transferring the explants to the basal media
alone [26,27]. Gubbuk and Pekmezci [11], reported that
activated charcoal was added to the media in replacement
of auxins such as IAA or IBA. However, auxins are
known to induce quick and further roots initiation [9].
Vuylsteke and De Langhe [12] found that optimal con-
centration for IBA was 1 µM (0.2 mg/l) for banana cul-
tivars they were testing. Due to cultivar dependence of
response to growth regulators of banana, each cultivar
responds differently to similar concentration of growth
regulators. In terms of rooting, our experiment indicated
Table 4. Effect of IBA concentration with and without BAP
on the number of roots formed and average root length.
Growth Parameter
Treatment Number of roots Average root length
Growth Regulators
IBA 3.4 ± 0.34a 5.0 ± 0.34a
IBA + BAP 3.9 ± 0.45a 5.4 ± 0.55a
0 mg/l 2.3 ± 0.47c 3.0 ± 0.75d
0.5 mg/l 2.9 ± 0.40bc 4.0 ± 0.71cd
1.0 mg/l 2.9 ± 0.52bc 5.0 ± 0.67bc
1.5 mg/l 4.1 ± 0.48b 6.0 ± 0.58b
2.0 mg/l 6.1 ± 0.52a 8.0 ± 0.61a
Growth regulators 1.09ns 0.46ns
Concentrations 10.35*** 8.59***
Growth regulators*Conc 1.68ns 0.42ns
***0.001. Values (Mean ± SE) Followed by dissimilar letter(s) in a column
are significantly different by Least Significant Difference test at p = 0.05. ns
= non-significant.
Figure 3. (a) Some of the explants with the roots produced
in vitro at (2.0 mg/l IBA and 0.2 mg/l BAP (b) Measurement
of root length.
that better response to roots initiation of this variety was
2 mg/l.
3.4. The Effect of IBA and BAP Concentrations
on the Length of Roots Produced in Vitro
Root length varied with different concentrations of IBA
and BAP (Table 4 ). The results indicated that there were
increasing trend of root length with increasing concentra-
tion. The highest root length was observed in the treat-
ment with concentration of 2 mg/l, where the number of
roots produced per explant was 8.0. This was followed
by treatment with concentration of 1.5 mg/l which pro-
duced 6.0 roots per explant.
Generally, this trend showed that auxin was essential
for quick induction of banana roots in vitro as compared
with the control treatment. The necessity of using auxins
for roots induction in banana tissue culture is also
reported by Raut and Lokhande [28].
Rahman et al. (2013) in their study indicated that
Open Access AJPS
The Effects of Auxins and Cytokinin on Growth and Development of
(Musa sp.) Var. “Yangambi” Explants in Tissue Culture
highest root length of 3.69 cm was achieved under 1.0
mg/l IBA for excised shoots of banana [29]. This may be
due to genotype of their cultivar and the relatively low
concentration of IBA used, given that the experiment was
conducted for six weeks.
In our study, it was evident that 2.0 mg/l can increase
the average root length within short time and reduce the
costs associated with tissue culture. This may have a
positive influence on the survival of the explants.
4. Conclusions
The optimum concentration of BAP for buds prolifera-
tion of this variety (Yangambi) was 6 mg/l as reflected
by increased number of buds and fresh weight. The use
of BAP in combination with IAA (BAP * IAA) was
found to enhance fresh weight at concentration of 6 mg/l:
0.35 mg/l respectively. Therefore, due to the genotype
specificity on response of many banana cultivars to tissue
culture media, it is recommended that this concentration
be used for in vitro propagation of this variety.
As for rooting, supplementing a media for tissue
culture of banana variety “Yangambi” with 2.0 mg/l of
IBA increased the number and length of roots formed
and reduce the time required to wait for roots to be
formed in basal media or media with activated charcoal.
5. Acknowledgements
This study was funded by the Nelson Mandela African
Institute of Science and Technology through research
funds from Commission for Science and Technology
(COSTECH) in Tanzania.
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