Journal Article

Lodgepole pine: the first evidence of seed-based somatic embryogenesis and the expression of embryogenesis marker genes in shoot bud cultures of adult trees

So-Young Park, Krystyna Klimaszewska, Ji-Young Park and Shawn D. Mansfield

Edited by Gary Peter

in Tree Physiology

Volume 30, issue 11, pages 1469-1478
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online October 2010 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpq081
Lodgepole pine: the first evidence of seed-based somatic embryogenesis and the expression of embryogenesis marker genes in shoot bud cultures of adult trees

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Of the various alternatives for cloning elite conifers, somatic embryogenesis (SE) appears to be the best option. In recent years, significant areas of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forest have been devastated by the mountain pine beetle (MPB) in Western Canada. In an attempt to establish an SE propagation system for MPB-resistant lodgepole pine, several families displaying varying levels of resistance were selected for experimentation involving shoot bud and immature seed explants. In bud cultures, eight embryogenic lines were induced from 2 of 15 genotypes following various treatments. Genotype had an important influence on embryogenic culture initiation, and this effect was consistent over time. These lines were identified by microscopic observation and genetic markers. Despite the abundance of early somatic embryos, the cultures have yet to develop into mature embryos. In contrast, immature zygotic embryos (ZEs) cultured from megagametophytes initiated SE at an early dominance stage via nodule-type callus in 1 of 10 genotypes. As part of the study, putative embryogenesis-specific genes, WOX2 (WUSCHELL homeobox 2) and HAP3A, were analyzed in cultures of both shoot bud explants and ZEs. On the basis of these analyses, we postulate that PcHAP3A was expressed mainly in callus and may be involved in cell division, whereas WOX2 was expressed mainly in embryonal mass (EM)-like tissues. The findings from this study, based on molecular assessment, suggest that the cell lines derived from bud cultures were truly EM. Moreover, these experimental observations suggest that PcWOX2 could be used as an early genetic marker to discriminate embryogenic cultures from callus.

Keywords: gene expression; HAP3A; in vitro culture; Pinus contorta; recalcitrance; somatic embryos; somatic seedlings; WOX

Journal Article.  5334 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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