Canadian Forest Service Publications

Maturation of somatic embryos of Pinus strobus is promoted by a high concentration of gellan gum. 1997. Klimaszewska, K.; Smith, D.R. Physiologia Plantarum 100: 949-957.

Year: 1997

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 16758

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


Application of somatic embryogenesis to Pinus strobus clonal propagation and genetic improvement was hampered by the difficulty in achieving synchronous maturation of a large number of somatic embryos that would germinate and produce plants. Media containing abscisic acid (80 µM) and osmotic agents such as sucrose, polyethylene glycol and/or dextran did not sustain development of mature somatic embryos from plated embryonal masses. This indicated that factors other than osmotic agents might be involved in sustaining developement of Pinus strobus somatic embryos to maturity. It was subsequently found that media lacking osmotica but containing a high concentration of gellan gum (1%) induced significant improvement in the development of mature somatic embryos in the presence of 80 or 120 µM abscisic acid. This positive effect was independent of the genotype and all four tested lines displayed similar responses. Media containing gellan gum at concentrations from 0.4 to 1.2% formed gels that varied in their strength. Gel strength was proportional to the concentration of gellan gum in the specific medium but varied depending on the medium formulation. Gel strength increased with the duration of storage of the culture medium by 46% (SD 14) after 14 days of storage. Preliminary results showed that embryos matured on high gellan gum media displayed improved germination frequencies. These results indicate that in Pinus strobus the water status and possibily other medium characteristics that are influenced by increased concentration of gelling agent have stimulatory effects on maturation of somatic embryos.

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