Induction of somatic embryos from root callus

Cultures were initiated from seedling roots of different genotypes of maize on LS medium containing 2.0 mg/l 2,4-D. After one month these cultures were transferred to 1.0 mg/1 2,4-D and 0.5 mg/l NAA and maintained on the same medium for about 5-6 subcultures. The friable callus disaggregated when suspended in a 250 ml culture flask containing 30 ml liquid medium on a shaker for about a week. We observed somatic embryos both in hormone-free and hormone-containing media. However, in hormone-free medium more somatic embryos were identified. These embryos were transferred to different levels of hormones containing media. Some of them germinated and exhibited only root initiation without any shoot formation. These results suggest that somatic embryos can be induced from root cultures, similar to immature embryo cultures as reported earlier (Lu, et al., Theor. Appl. Genet. 66:285-289, 1983). Studies are in progress with regard to standardization of media, concentration of various levels of sucrose and hormones involved in embryogenesis of root calli.

K. V. Rao, P. Suprasanna and G. M. Reddy

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