Research Paper | Published:

The Regulation of Somatic Embryo Development in Plant Cell Cultures: Suspension Culture Techniques and Hormone Requirements

Bio/Technology volume 1, pages 6873 (1983) | Download Citation



The ability to control plant somatic embryogenesis is a necessary prelude to its development as an efficient biotechnological tool. The influence of different suspension culture techniques on the maturation of caraway (Carum carvi) somatic embryos and the effect of growth hormones in controlling development were studied. The three types of culture vessels (tumble tubes, test tubes, and Erlenmeyer flasks), each providing contrasting techniques of agitation, generated populations differing significantly in the frequencies of normal and abnormal embryos. Abscisic acid (ABA), at the appropriate concentrations, effectively normalized development in all systems, inhibiting abnormal proliferations and precocious germination and fostering normal maturation. For those cultures where embryos failed to develop on unsupplemented medium, zeatin in combination with ABA fostered growth and normal maturation. Carrot (Daucus carota) somatic embryo development could be similarly controlled. Such regulation of maturation would facilitate future efforts to manipulate somatic embryos for large scale propagation in batch cultures, mechanized planting, artificial induction of dormancy, and incorporation into artificial seeds.

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  1. Department of Biological Sciences, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, and DNA Plant Technology Corporation, 2611 Branch Pike, Cinnaminson, New Jersey 08077

    • Philip V. Ammirato


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