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Free Content Stress-induced somatic embryogenesis in vegetative tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana

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Somatic embryogenesis is an obvious experimental evidence of totipotency, and is used as a model system for studying the mechanisms of de-differentiation and re-differentiation of plant cells. Although Arabidopsis is widely used as a model plant for genetic and molecular biological studies, there is no available tissue culture system for inducing somatic embryogenesis from somatic cells in this plant. We established a new tissue culture system using stress treatment to induce somatic embryogenesis in Arabidopsis. In this system, stress treatment induced formation of somatic embryos from shoot-apical-tip and floral-bud explants. The somatic embryos grew into young plantlets with normal morphology, including cotyledons, hypocotyls, and roots, and some embryo-specific genes (ABI3 and FUS3) were expressed in these embryos. Several stresses (osmotic, heavy metal ion, and dehydration stress) induced somatic embryogenesis, but the optimum stress treatment differed between different stressors. When we used mannitol to cause osmotic stress, the optimal conditions for somatic embryogenesis were 6–9 h of culture on solid B5 medium containing 0.7 mmannitol, after which the explants were transferred to B5 medium containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D, 4.5 ┬Ám), but no mannitol. Using this tissue culture system, we induced somatic embryogenesis in three major ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana– Ws, Col, and Ler.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; de-differentiation; embryo-specific gene expression; somatic embryogenesis; stress treatment; vegetative tissues

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Gene Research Center, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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