Improved and synchronized maturation of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H.Karst.) somatic embryos in temporary immersion bioreactors
In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Plant. 2018, 54(6):612-620
Mamun NHA, Aidun CK, Egertsdotter U

Abstract
Somatic embryogenesis offers many benefits for clonal propagation in large-scale plant production of conifers. A key rate-limiting step is the conversion from early-stage somatic embryos in pro-embryogenic masses (PEMs) to the maturation stage. Immature embryos in PEMs are present at different developmental stages, where some are unable to respond to the maturation treatment, thus limiting yields of mature embryos. Synchronization of early somatic embryo development in PEMs could greatly improve subsequent yields of mature embryos. A temporary immersion bioreactor designed for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H.Karst.) was used in this study. Through a specific system for dispersion, connected tissue of PEMs, composed of immature embryos grown in liquid medium in the temporary immersion bioreactors or on solid medium as a control, was dispersed and redistributed in a more uniform spatial arrangement. It was demonstrated that development of mature embryos could be significantly stimulated by dispersion, compared to controls, in both medium types. Synchronization of maturation was evaluated by a statistical approach. The present study shows that the yield of mature embryos from dispersed PEMs was three to five times higher than that from non-dispersed controls in three of four cell lines of Norway spruce tested, both in bioreactors and on solid medium.

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