Possible effect from shear stress on maturation of somatic embryos of Norway spruce (Picea abies)
Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2011, 109 (5), 1089-99
Sun H, Aidun C K, Egertsdotter E-M U

Somatic embryogenesis is the only method with the potential for industrial scale clonal propagation of conifers. Implementation of the method has so far been hampered by the extensive manual labor required for development of the somatic embryos into plants. The utilization of bioreactors is limited since the somatic embryos will not mature and germinate under liquid culture conditions. The negative effect on mature embryo yields from liquid culture conditions has been previously described. We have described the negative effects of shear stress on the development of early stage somatic embryos (proembryogenic masses; PEMs) at shear stresses of 0.086 and 0.14 N/m2. In the present study, additional flow rates were studied to determine the effects of shear stress at lower rates resembling shear stress in a suspension culture flask. The results showed that shear stress at 0.009, 0.014, and 0.029 N/m2 inhibited the PEM expansions comparing with the control group without shear stress. This study also provides validation for the cross‐correlation method previously developed to show the effect of shear stress on early stage embryo suspensor cell formation and polarization. Furthermore, shear stress was shown to positively affect the uptake of water into the cells. The results indicate that the plasmolyzing effect from macromolecules added to liquid culture medium to stimulate maturation of the embryos are affected by liquid culture conditions and thus can affect the conversion of PEMs into mature somatic embryos.

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