Heracleum candicans belongs to the family Apiaceae, and is categorized as a vulnerable Himalayan medicinal herb. Due to its diverse chemical constituents it is having an increased demand in pharmaceutical industries, especially in international market. This herb is commercially useful as a major source of Xanthotoxin which is widely used to treat leucoderma and to prepare suntan lotions. During the present study direct shoot regeneration has been achieved from hypocotyl explants on MS (Murashige and Skoog, 1962) medium fortified with different plant growth hormones. Shoot bud regeneration was achieved on media augmented with auxins like Indoleacetic acid (IAA), 2,4 -dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and cytokinins like Kinetin (KN) and Benzyladenine (BA). Due to the presence of 2,4-D in the medium friable callus development has been reported in some cultures. Regenerated shoots were transferred to MS basal medium for root induction and later on successfully acclimatized in vermiculite under controlled conditions. This is the first report on plant regeneration from hypocotyl explants of H. candicans and could be used as an alternative for large scale propagation and conservation of this vulnerable plant species.
Key words: Apiaceae, explants, callus, auxins, cytokinins, MS medium.
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