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  • Author or Editor: Felipe Barredo-Pool x
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To induce somatic embryogenesis in habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.), the cultivar BVll-03, belonging to the red type, was used. Different explants were evaluated, as were different culture media, the composition of which varied in the content of plant growth regulators. Results showed the formation of somatic embryos from cotyledons, zygotic embryos, germinated zygotic embryos, hypocotyls, and cotyledonary leaves. Explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 2,4-D (9.05 μm). The somatic embryos always formed directly from the explant, without callus formation, and the greatest efficiency was obtained when segments of hypocotyls were cultured, obtaining 175 ± 20 somatic embryos per explant. Only the somatic embryos obtained on Murashige and Skoog medium containing 2,4-D (9.05 μm) and treated with abscisic acid (ABA) (1.89 μm) before their transfer to the germination media (Murashige and Skoog + 1.1 μm GA3) emitted their radicule and expanded their cotyledonary leaves (60%), whereas the remaining embryos did not achieve germination because of different causes (abnormalities, delayed development). Not only is this protocol of somatic embryogenesis the first to be reported for this species (C. chinense Jacq.), but it is also the most efficient reported so far, within the Capsicum genus.

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Factors such as slow growth, low rates of sexual and asexual reproduction, and viability of seeds among others limit the massive propagation of Agave americana L. by conventional methods. In this study, callus induction and shoot proliferation was determined in A. americana using Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with dicholorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 6-benzyl adenine (BA). Meristematic tissue was used as the explants, and were placed on MS medium supplemented with 30.0 g·L−1 sucrose with 0.11, 0.18, or 0.45 μm 2,4-D and 11.0, 22.0, 38.2, 44.0, 58.7, or 73.3 μm BA. Treatments were implemented according to factorial experimental design 3 × 6. After 1 month, the number of explants with callus was determined, whereas the numbers of shoots per explant were monitored after 4, 16, 20, and 36 weeks. The maximum percent of explants with callus was obtained with 0.11 μm 2,4-D and 58.7 and 73.3 μm BA, whereas the maximum numbers of shoots per explant (71) were obtained with 0.11 μm 2,4-D and 73.3 μm BA. The effect of different concentrations of indolebutyric acid (IBA) in the rooting of shoots was evaluated. There were no significant effects of IBA on the number of roots, root length, and axillary roots. Plantlets were acclimatized in the glasshouse and they did not show any phenotypic alteration. This is a highly efficient protocol for the in vitro propagation of A. americana via indirect organogenesis.

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Amino acids, a major fraction of the low-molecular-weight organic nitrogen in soil, act as signaling molecules that indicate the presence of nutrient-rich patches to the roots. To characterize the effects of amino acids on root growth, we used seedlings of habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense), one of the most widely cultivated annual spice crops in the world. We tested the effect of L-glutamate, L-aspartate, and glycine on the primary root of seedlings grown aseptically under different conditions of pH and light. L-glutamate and L-aspartate did not inhibit the root growth of habanero pepper. In contrast, glycine inhibited the growth of roots, stimulated root hair growth, and induced a significant accumulation of starch grains in the root apex. The use of aminoethoxyvinylglycine, an inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis, and the evaluation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase expression provided evidence of a role for ethylene in the root responses to glycine. We suggest that these changes in the root apex in response to exogenous glycine could be an important adaptive response that allows plants to efficiently access the fluctuating availability of nutrients in the soil.

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The ontogenesis of direct high-frequency somatic embryogenesis of C. chinense induced from hypocotyl was characterized through a histological analysis of the different phases in the histodifferentiation process during the development of the somatic embryo. The anatomical analysis was carried out since the hypocotyl segments were placed in the culture medium until 45 days of culture. The somatic embryos were induced and maintained in Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (9.5 μm). Samples of tissues and organs were taken every 24 h, fixed in formalin acetic alcohol, and embedded in plastic resin. They were cut into serial sections (5 μm) and stained with toluidine blue. The analysis revealed that the proembryogenic cells originated just from provascular hypocotyl cells. Provascular cells acquired the embryogenic competence 48 h after induction and an intense mitotic division was observed and embryogenic structures were generated first along the vascular strands, which subsequently evolved into somatic embryos. After 2 weeks, there were observed embryos at different stages of development (preglobular, globular, heart-shaped, torpedo-shaped, and cotyledonary). This is the first report dealing with the ontogenesis of the direct somatic embryogenesis of C. chinense, and it is the most complete histological characterization carried out on somatic embryogenesis in the Capsicum genus to date.

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