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Release of somatic embryogenic potential from excised zygotic embryos of carrot and maintenance of proembryonic cultures in hormone-free mediumExcised zygotic embryos, mericarps ("seeds") and hypocotyls of seedlings of cultivated carrot Daucus carota cv. Scarlet Nantes were evaluated for their ability to generate somatic embryos on a semisolid hormone-free nutrient medium. Neither intact zygotic embryos nor hypocotyls ever produced somatic embryos. However, mericarps and broken zygotic embryos were excellent sources for somatic embryo production (response levels as high as 86%). Somatic embryo formation was highest from cotyledons, but was also observed on isolated hypocotyls and root tips of mature zygotic embryos. On media containing unreduced nitrogen, somatic embryo formation led to the generation of vigorous cultures comprised entirely of somatic embryos at various stages of development which in turn proliferated still other somatic embryos. However, a medium was devised which when 1-5 mM NH4+ was the sole nitrogen source, led only to a proliferation of globular proembryos. Sustained subculturing of these proembryos at 2-3 week intervals enabled establishment of highly uniform cultures in which no further development into more mature stages of embryonic development occurred. These have been maintained, without decline, as morphogenetically competent proembryonic globules for over ten months. A basal medium containing from 1-5 mM NH4+ as the sole nitrogen source appears not to be inductive to somatic proembryo formation. Instead, such a medium is best thought of as permissive to the expression of embryogenically determined cells within zygotic embryos. By excising and breaking or wounding zygotic embryos, constituent cells are probably released from positional or chemical restraints and thus are able to express their innate embryogenic potential. Once a proembryonic culture is established, this medium containing 1-5 mM NH4+ as the sole nitrogen source provides a nonpermissive environment to the development and growth of later embryonic stages, but it does allow the continued formation and multiplication of globular somatic proembryos. The sequence of events leading from excised broken zygotic embryos to the formation of somatic embryos and the maintenance of somatic proembryos are demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy and histological preparations. Germination levels from intact zygotic embryos on media with varying levels and ratios of unreduced vs. reduced inorganic nitrogen were determined as well and provided baseline or control data on the type of response obtained from nonwounded material.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Smith, D. L.
(State University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-5215 United States)
Krikorian, A. D.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: American journal of botany
Volume: 76
Issue: 12
ISSN: 0002-9122
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Plant Biology
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