Annals of botany

Somatic embryogenesis in peach palm using the thin cell layer technique: induction, morpho-histological aspects and AFLP analysis of somaclonal variation.

PMID 17670751


The thin cell layer (TCL) technique is based on the use of very small explants and has allowed enhanced in vitro morphogenesis in several plant species. The present study evaluated the TCL technique as a procedure for somatic embryo production and plantlet regeneration of peach palm. TCL explants from different positions in the shoot apex and leaf sheath of peach palm were cultivated in MS culture medium supplemented with 0-600 microM Picloram in the presence of activated charcoal. The production of primary calli and embryogenic calli was evaluated in these different conditions. Histological and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses were conducted to study in vitro morphogenetic responses and genetic stability, respectively, of the regenerated plantlets. Abundant primary callus induction was observed from TCLs of the shoot meristem in culture media supplemented with 150-600 microM Picloram (83-97%, respectively). The production of embryogenic calli depends on Picloram concentration and explant position. The best response observed was 43% embryogenic callus production from shoot meristem TCL on 300 microM Picloram. In maturation conditions, 34+/-4 somatic embryos per embryogenic callus were obtained, and 45.0+/-3.4% of these fully developed somatic embryos were converted, resulting in plantlets ready for acclimatization, of which 80% survived. Histological studies revealed that the first cellular division events occurred in cells adjacent to vascular tissue, resulting in primary calli, whose growth was ensured by a meristematic zone. A multicellular origin of the resulting somatic embryos arising from the meristematic zone is suggested. During maturation, histological analyses revealed bipolarization of the somatic embryos, as well as the development of new somatic embryos. AFLP analyses revealed that 92% of the regenerated plantlets were true to type. The use of TCL explants considerably improves the number of calli and somatic embryos produced in comparison with previously described protocols for in vitro regeneration of peach palm. The present study suggests that the TCL somatic embryogenesis protocol developed is feasible, although it still requires further optimization for in vitro multiplication of peach palm, especially the use of similar explants obtained from adult palm trees.

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