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Unravelling the metabolic and hormonal machinery during key steps of somatic embryogenesis: A case study in coffee

Awada R., Campa C., Gibault E., Dechamp E., Georget F., Lepelley M., Abdallah C., Erban A., Martinez-Seidel F., Kopka J., Legendre L., Leran S., Conejero G., Verdeil J.L., Crouzillat D., Breton D., Bertrand B., Etienne H.. 2019. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20 (19) : 29 p..

Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is one of the most promising processes for large-scale dissemination of elite varieties. However, for many plant species, optimizing SE protocols still relies on a trial-and-error approach. Using coffee as a model plant, we report here the first global analysis of metabolome and hormone dynamics aiming to unravel mechanisms regulating cell fate and totipotency. Sampling from leaf explant dedifferentiation until embryo development covered 15 key stages. An in-depth statistical analysis performed on 104 metabolites revealed that massive re-configuration of metabolic pathways induced SE. During initial dedifferentiation, a sharp decrease in phenolic compounds and caffeine levels was also observed while auxins, cytokinins and ethylene levels were at their highest. Totipotency reached its highest expression during the callus stages when a shut-off in hormonal and metabolic pathways related to sugar and energetic substance hydrolysis was evidenced. Abscisic acid, leucine, maltotriose, myo-inositol, proline, tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites and zeatin appeared as key metabolic markers of the embryogenic capacity. Combining metabolomics with multiphoton microscopy led to the identification of chlorogenic acids as markers of embryo redifferentiation. The present analysis shows that metabolite fingerprints are signatures of cell fate and represent a starting point for optimizing SE protocols in a rational way.

Mots-clés : microscopie; microscopie immunofluorescente; expression des gènes; différenciation cellulaire; marqueur génétique; embryogénèse somatique; coffea

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Méthodes de recherche

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