Synthetic seed technology is a potential tool for a more efficient and cost effective rapid clonal propagation system. In the present investigation, synthetic seeds were produced by encapsulating nodal segments of Ocimum basilicum in calcium alginate gel. For encapsulation of nodal segment, 3% (w/v) sodium alginate and 75 mM CaCl2.2H2O were found most suitable. The synthetic seeds when cultured on half-strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 5.0 μM benzyladenine (BA) and 0.5 μM Indole -3- acetic acid (IAA) produced maximum number of shoots (7.9 ± 0.54) after 8 weeks of culture exhibiting 80% in vitro conversion response. Further, synthetic seeds stored at 4 °C for 4 weeks resulted in maximum conversion response (90%) when placed back to regeneration medium. Both root and shoot formation took place in the same medium but the roots were thin and difficult to handle. Individual elongated shoots were rooted on MS medium supplemented with 1.0 μM Indole -3- butyric acid (IBA). Plants regenerated from the synseeds were hardened, acclimatized, and established in soil with 80% survival rate. Changes in antioxidative enzymes viz., Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Catalase (CAT) in O. basilicum indicated the adaptation of micropropagated plants to ex vitro conditions.
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