induction of callus from leaves of V. album var. lutescens. They were able to identify 2 galactose-binding lectins in the callus which were originally observed in mistletoe leaves. They also found that the contact of the mistletoe callus with a callus of its host beech (Fagus crenata) did not result in contact inhibition for neither of the two plant species. In our laboratory we have recently conducted a number of experiments in order to define more precisely the conditions under which mistletoe callus cultures can be obtained at a satisfactory rate. The effect of different plant parts, explant handling, growth regulators and culture medium composition has been investigated. We also achieved to isolate mistletoe protoplasts from different sources.


Apart from V. album ssp. coloratum var. lutescens, growing on beech (Fukui et al., 1990), V. album ssp. abietis, one of the three main mistletoe varieties, growing on fir trees on Mount Parnitha (Attiki, Greece) were studied by our group. The plants were classified as "winter accessions" (plants collected from December to March) or "summer accessions" (plants collected from April to November). Donor plants were kept at 4°C before the removal of leaf and stem explants (1 cm long).

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