Pimpinella brachicarpa (Chamnamul in Korean) is an indigenous plant that grows in Korean mountain areas. It has not been cultivated yet but is gathered to use as a vegetable. Its difficulty of propagation by seeds is one of the major reasons not to be cultivated as a horticultural crop despite its demand. As a promising propagation method for the Chamnamul, we have developed a micropropagation system using somatic embryogenesis. In the present study, induction of embryogenic callus of the Chamnamul affected by part of explants (leaf and stem) and concentration (0, 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 mg·L-1) of growth regulators (2.4-D, IAA, IBA, and NAA) was investigated to find the best conditions for embryogenic callus induction. A full strength of MS medium was used for a 50-day culture for all the treatments. The embryogenic callus was firm and light yellow in color and was distinct from the non-embryogenic callus that was friable and semitransparent. More embryogenic callus was induced in the treatments that the stem was used as an explant comparing with the treatments that the leaf was used. The 2.4-D treatments resulted in the better induction of embryogenic callus than other growth regulator treatments, and 1.5 mg·L-1 was the most effective among all the 2,4-D concentration treatments. Addition of 0.1 mg·L-1 BA to 2.4-D treatments retarded the induction of embryogenic callus of the Chamnamul, while the promotion of induction and multiplication of embryogenic callus was reported in many plant species by adding BA with low concentration to an auxin-base medium. The better induction was found in the treatments of darkness and dim lighting (10 μmol·m-2·s-1 of PPF) than in treatments of the higher PPF.
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