Somaclonal variation in Asparagus officinalis plants regenerated by organogenesis from long-term callus cultures


Genetics and Molecular Biology




Somaclonal variation in plants regenerated by organogenesis from long-term cultured calluses of two diploid staminate genotypes of Asparagus officinalis cv. Argenteuil was characterized by plant phenotype, ploidy, meiotic behavior, pollen viability, fruit and seed set, and AFLP profiles. Phenotypic deviations from the donors were detected in foliage color, flower size, and cladode and flower morphology. Ploidy changes were observed in 37.8% of the 37 regenerants studied. Meiotic alterations in 12 out of 21 regenerants included laggards, dicentric bridges, micronuclei, restitution nuclei and polyads. Of the 408 AFLP markers screened in 43 regenerants and the donors, 2.94% showed polymorphism. High pollen viability was observed in the 22 regenerants analyzed. All crosses between one pistillate plant and 35 regenerants, as well as the controls, produced fruits and seeds; however, no plump seeds resulted in 35.3% of the crosses with regenerants, and no seeds germinated in 12.5% of those with apparently normal seeds. Fruit and seed set was similar in crosses with diploid regenerants with normal meiosis and the controls but was lower in crosses with diploid and polyploid regenerants with abnormal meiosis. Our results show that the regenerated plants exhibited conspicuous somaclonal variation that could be eventually exploited for in vitro selection systems.

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