The potential for predation induced somatic embryogenesis in storage cotyledons

Harrington, Mark G., Gadek, Paul A., and Edwards, Will (2005) The potential for predation induced somatic embryogenesis in storage cotyledons. Oikos, 111 (2). pp. 215-220.

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Using seven tropical rainforest species of north Queensland, Australia, we simulated partial predation and compared the development of intact embryos and embryos from which various proportions had been removed, including in some cases the original root–shoot axis. Embryos of all species contained storage reserve cotyledons and germinate in a hypogeal manner. Species mean embryo masses ranged from 0.4–48.1 g. Partial embryo predation treatments were: ½ embryo treatment; embryos separated into component cotyledons, and ¼ embryo treatment; cotyledons separated as above and subsequently cut in half. Germination was scored as production of roots and shoots, or roots or shoots only. Embryos from all species produced seedlings in all treatments, even after the removal of up to 75 percent of the cotyledonary reserve. Moreover, the proportion germinating were not different between intact embryos and i) separated cotyledons, ii) cotyledon halves that maintained or were adjacent to the embryonic axis (except for the largest seeded species), and iii) cotyledon halves that did not include the root–shoot axis (four species). Thus, production of roots and shoots, or roots or shoots only was largely independent of the presence of the embryonic root–shoot axis – implying that somatic cells in storage cotyledons are capable of differentiating into the full range of cell types typical of shoots and roots in the absence of the root–shoot axis. The generality of this response across all seven species suggests somatic embryogenesis in storage cotyledons may be a more widespread phenomenon in tropical floras than currently considered.

Item ID: 6991
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1600-0706
Keywords: cotyledons; seeds
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 23:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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