The uptake and metabolism of exogenous tritium-labelled benzyl adenine was studied during the shoot induction period of petunia leaf explants in tissue culture. Transfer experiments with Petunia `MD1' leaf explants (1 cm2) on MS media with 2.2 uM BA show that 27% and 100% of the leaf explants are committed to shoot induction on days 6 and 10, respectively. To study BA uptake and metabolism, leaf explants were placed on media containing tritium-labled BA for 1, 3, 6 and 10 days. BA was taken up from the media on days 1-6. BA metabolizes were analyzed using HPLC, a UV absorbancc detector and enzymatic techniques. Metabolizes produced include: BA, BAdo, BA 7G, BA 9G, BAdoMP, BAdoDP, BAdoTP and 3 unidentified compounds. BA and BAdo were detected on days 1 and 3 but not during day 6-10, the time of shoot induction. The pool of ribotide metabolites decreased from days 1 to 10, from 26.5% of all metabolites to 1.6%. Glucosylated compounds, BA 7G and BA 9G, increased continuously from 24.9% to 69.8% between days 1 and 10. An unidentified compound C increased from 13% on day 3 to 24.8% on day 10. In separate experiments, BA uptake and metabolism were compared in two Petunia hybrida lines, St40 and TLV1, with different shoot organogenic responses in tissue culture. These data show interesting patterns of BA metabolism in relationship to shoot induction and organogenesis.
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