Author(s): Fki L, Masmoudi R, Drira N, Rival A
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Abstract An improved protocol is described for the large-scale micropropagation of an elite date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivar, Deglet Nour. Clonal plants were regenerated from somatic embryos derived from highly proliferating suspension cultures. Friable embryogenic calli were initiated from both leaf and inflorescence explants. Suspension cultures consisting of pro-embryonic masses were established from calli showing a high competency for somatic embryogenesis. The subculture of suspensions in liquid medium enriched with low amounts of plant growth regulators (1 mg l(-1) 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid with 300 mg l(-1) charcoal) resulted in the differentiation of large numbers of somatic embryos. The productivity of the cultures increased 20-fold (from 10 to 200 embryos per month per 100 mg fresh weight of embryogenic callus) when embryogenic suspensions were used instead of standard cultures on solid media. The overall production of somatic embryos reached 10,000 units per litre per month. Partial desiccation of the mature somatic embryos, corresponding to a decrease in water content from 90\% to 75\%, significantly improved germination rates (from 25\% to 80\%). The cutting back of the cotyledonary leaf was also found to stimulate embryo germination. Flow cytometric analysis showed that the micropropagation protocol followed here did not affect the ploidy level of somatic embryo-derived plantlets.
This article was published in Plant Cell Rep
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology