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In vitro conservation of oil palm somatic embryos for 20 years on a hormone-free culture medium: characteristics of the embryogenic cultures, derived plantlets and adult palms

Konan E.K., Durand-Gasselin T., Kouadio J.Y., Flori A., Rival A., Duval Y., Pannetier C.. 2010. Plant Cell Reports, 29 (1) : p. 1-13.

DOI: 10.1007/s00299-009-0787-y

This study was conducted over a period of 20 years, to assess the problems involved in developing subcultures over a very long period, of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) somatic embryos which were maintained in vitro on a Murashige and Skoog mineral-based culture medium, without growth regulators. Analysis of the proliferation rate of the embryogenic cultures, along with the survivability of the regenerated plantlets after their transfer into soil and of the flowering of the derived adult palms has been conducted for cultures maintained in vitro during 1 to 20 years. From the ninth year of maintenance, the tissue quality of the somatic embryos gradually began to decline. However, after more than 20 years, 30% of the 20 clones tested still continued to proliferate satisfactorily on the same maintenance medium, keeping their multiplication potential intact. Even though a depressive effect of the age of the lines has been observed on the survival capacity of plants under natural conditions, it is noteworthy that among the clones originating from 20-year-old cultures only eight of them (40%) have exhibited the ''mantled'' floral abnormality. Different hypotheses concerning the origin of the disruptions observed on the in vitro cultures, plantlets and adult palms that occur over a very long period of in vitro conservation are discussed.

Mots-clés : elaeis guineensis; culture d'embryon; culture in vitro; technique de culture; conservation d'embryon; embryogénèse somatique; variation somaclonale; inflorescence; trouble de la reproduction; Épigénétique

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