Journal Article

Light quality treatments enhance somatic seedling production in three southern pine species

Scott A. Merkle, Paul M. Montello, Xiuqin Xia, Bruce L. Upchurch and Dale R. Smith

in Tree Physiology

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 187-194
Published in print February 2006 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online February 2006 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Light quality treatments enhance somatic seedling production in three southern pine species

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Embryogenic cultures of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.), longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) and slash pine × longleaf pine hybrids were initiated from immature seeds on an initiation medium containing 13.57 μM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2.22 μM benzylaminopurine. Embryogenic cultures proliferated and somatic embryos developed, matured and germinated following a modified protocol and media originally developed for radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don.) somatic seedling production. A discrete, light-sensitive pre-germination stage and a later germination (radicle emergence) stage were identified by the differential response of somatic embryos to light of different wavelengths. Different light quality treatments were applied during the pre-germination and germination steps, using cool white fluorescent bulbs or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), or both. In general, red wavelengths provided by LEDs during these steps resulted in higher frequencies of somatic embryo germination (up to 64%) and conversion (up to 50%), longer tap roots and more first-order lateral roots than the standard cool white fluorescent treatments or treatment with blue wavelengths from LEDs. In addition, exposure to red light allowed germination of somatic embryos of some clones that failed to produce germinants under fluorescent light. Germination and conversion were further enhanced by sequential application of cool white fluorescent light and red light, resulting in up to 100% germination and conversion in one experiment. Longleaf pine somatic embryos were especially responsive to the light quality treatments, resulting in the first report of somatic seedling production for this species.

Keywords: conversion; germination; light-emitting diode (LED); loblolly pine; longleaf pine; slash pine; Pinus elliottii; Pinus palustris; Pinus taeda

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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