Author(s): Bobadilla Landey R, Cenci A, Georget F, Bertrand B, Camayo G,
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Abstract Embryogenic suspensions that involve extensive cell division are risky in respect to genome and epigenome instability. Elevated frequencies of somaclonal variation in embryogenic suspension-derived plants were reported in many species, including coffee. This problem could be overcome by using culture conditions that allow moderate cell proliferation. In view of true-to-type large-scale propagation of C. arabica hybrids, suspension protocols based on low 2,4-D concentrations and short proliferation periods were developed. As mechanisms leading to somaclonal variation are often complex, the phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic changes were jointly assessed so as to accurately evaluate the conformity of suspension-derived plants. The effects of embryogenic suspensions and secondary embryogenesis, used as proliferation systems, on the genetic conformity of somatic embryogenesis-derived plants (emblings) were assessed in two hybrids. When applied over a 6 month period, both systems ensured very low somaclonal variation rates, as observed through massive phenotypic observations in field plots (0.74\% from 200,000 plant). Molecular AFLP and MSAP analyses performed on 145 three year-old emblings showed that polymorphism between mother plants and emblings was extremely low, i.e. ranges of 0-0.003\% and 0.07-0.18\% respectively, with no significant difference between the proliferation systems for the two hybrids. No embling was found to cumulate more than three methylation polymorphisms. No relation was established between the variant phenotype (27 variants studied) and a particular MSAP pattern. Chromosome counting showed that 7 of the 11 variant emblings analyzed were characterized by the loss of 1-3 chromosomes. This work showed that both embryogenic suspensions and secondary embryogenesis are reliable for true-to-type propagation of elite material. Molecular analyses revealed that genetic and epigenetic alterations are particularly limited during coffee somatic embryogenesis. The main change in most of the rare phenotypic variants was aneuploidy, indicating that mitotic aberrations play a major role in somaclonal variation in coffee.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Human Genetics & Embryology