The golden chicken fern, Cibotium barometz (L.) J. Sm (Cibotiaceae), is an important export commodity used in both traditional and modern medicines. The population of C. barometz in some countries has declined rapidly due to over-exploitation. Therefore, this species has been included in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) since 1976. The Center for Plant Conservation – Bogor Botanic Gardens-LIPI, is striving to conserve this species ex situ, and has started propagating it through in vitro spore culture. However, C. barometz sporophyte formation from in vitro cultured spores takes a long time. Thus, we sought to acclimatize prothalli masses (gametophytes) that had not yet developed sporophytes, in an attempt to accelerate sporophyte formation. Acclimatization experiments were carried out in two stages. The first experiment used prothalli masses aged 8 months after sowing, and tested 14 kinds of acclimatization media in a transparant plastic box. The second experiment tested prothalli masses aged 15 months with the four best media selected from the first experiment, namely: (1) minced roots of the tree fern Cyathea contaminans (APC); (2) APC: charcolaled rice husk (ASP) in a 1: 1 ratio; (3) APC: cocopeat (CP) in a 1:1 ratio, and (4) APC: ASP:CP (1:1:1), using a plastic box with a translucent plastic lid. Results of the second experiment showed that the best medium for acclimatization is a mixed media composed of minced roots of the tree fern Cyathea contaminans, charcoaled rice husk, and cocopeat (1:1:1). Up to 80% of the prothalli masses grew on the three ingredient mixed media, resulting in the formation of as many as 574 sporophytes.
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