Indexed on: 04 Jun '11Published on: 04 Jun '11Published in: Tree physiology
The focus of the current project was to establish somatic embryogenesis protocols for the tropical pine species Pinus oocarpa using immature zygotic embryos (ZEs) as explants. Somatic embryogenesis is best supported by mimicking natural seed-embryo developmental conditions, through a tissue culture medium formulation based on the mineral content of the seed nutritive tissue [megagametophyte (MG)]. A novel culture medium (P. oocarpa medium, PO) was tested in combination with different plant growth regulator (PGR) concentrations and compared with standard Pinus taeda media for the initiation of somatic embryogenesis from immature ZEs of P. oocarpa. Immature MGs containing immature ZEs of two mother trees were used with 12 and 8% extrusion rates for mother tree genotypes 3 and 5, respectively. In both mother trees the percentage capture was 2%. Multiplication of two captured cell lines (T5C2S01 and T5C1S12) was improved by lowering the concentrations of PGRs to 2.5 µM each 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and abscisic acid (ABA) plus 1.0 µM each 6-benzylaminopurine and kinetin. Mature somatic embryos formed on 40 µM ABA, 6% (w/v) maltose, 12% (w/v) PEG 8000 and 0.6% (w/v) Phytagel. While PO medium appeared suboptimal for somatic embryo induction, it did exhibit potential for enhanced culture proliferation and subsequent improved maturation with cell line T5C2S01, where microscopic analysis revealed better embryo morphology on PO medium than on 1250 medium. However, this enhancement was not observed with cell line T5C1S12. Germination was preceded by partial desiccation for a period of 2-3 weeks before transferring the embryos to germination medium. Germination was observed after 7 days under low light, and apical primordia slowly expanded after transfer to ex vitro conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the production of somatic seedlings in P. oocarpa.