Morpho-histological study of direct somatic embryogenesis in endangered species Frittilaria meleagris
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Direct somatic embryogenesis of Frittilaria meleagris L. was induced using leaf base explants excised from in vitro grown shoots. Somatic embryos occurred at the basal part of leaf explants 4 weeks after culture on a Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with various concentrations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) or kinetin (KIN). The highest number of somatic embryos (SEs) were formed (9.74) from leaf explant on MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg dm(-3) 2,4-D after 4 weeks of culture initiation. An initial exposure to a low concentration of KIN in the medium also enhanced SEs induction. Our observations by light and scanning electron microscopy revealed that SEs originate directly from the epidermal and subepidermal layers of leaf explant. The developmental stages of somatic embryogenesis from the first unequal cell division through the meristematic clusters, multi-cellular globular somatic embryos to the fully formed cotyledonary embryos were determined. After 4 weeks on MS medium without plant growth regulators, SEs developed into bulblets.