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GA3 stimulates the formation and germination of somatic embryos and the expression of a KNOTTED-like homeobox gene of Cocos nucifera (L.)

Montero-Cortés M., Saenz L., Cordova I., Quiroz A., Verdeil J.L., Oropeza C.. 2010. Plant Cell Reports, 29 (9) : p. 1049-1059.

DOI: 10.1007/s00299-010-0890-0

The micropropagation of coconut palm has progressed rapidly; yet, there are constraints with regard to the number of somatic embryos formed and their germination. To overcome these, we tested the effect of gibberellic acid and characterized genes of the KNOX family. Gibberellic acid at 0.5 lM increased 1.5-fold the number of calli forming somatic embryos and twofold the number of somatic embryos per callus, calli with germinating embryos and the number of germinating somatic embryos per callus. With regard to the study of KNOX family genes, the complete sequences of two KNOX-like genes were obtained for CnKNOX1 and CnKNOX2. The deduced amino acid sequence of both showed highly conserved domains characteristic of KNOX genes. CnKNOX1 showed high homology with KNOX class I proteins. CnKNOX1 expression was detected throughout the embryogenesis process except in somatic embryos at the pro-globular stage, and was highest in somatic embryos at the coleoptilar stage. No detection of CnKNOX1 expression occurred in calli with aberrant embryos. The addition of gibberellic acid stimulated the expression of CnKNOX1 earlier and the relative expression at all stages was higher. CnKNOX2 expression occurred at all stages peaking at the globular stage, but gibberellic acid treatment decreased the expression. Gene expression was also analyzed in tissues of different organs of adult palms. With CnKNOX1, high level of expression was found in tissues of organs with, but not in those without, meristem, whereas CnKNOX2 expression was detected in tissues with and also in those without meristem.

Mots-clés : cocos nucifera; mexique

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