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Shatha Matar Al-Matar, Mostafa M. Abo El-Nil, Jameel Al-Khairy, and Gerald Klingaman

Cell suspension cultures of four date palm cultivars were established, namely, Niboat Saif, Madjhool, Sukarri, and Berhi. In this study, two factors were tested for their effect on embryo maturation and hyperhydration. The effect of sucrose concentration was assessed by inoculating 0.5 g of embryogenic callus into a liquid MS basal medium supplemented with 10 mg/L inositol, 3 mg/L glycine, 20 mg/L glutamine, and 0, 20, 30, 40, 50 g/L sucrose. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) concentration effect on embryo maturation and hyperhydration was tested. PEG (molecular weight 7000–9000) was added at concentrations of 0, 10, 30, and 60 g/L to the date palm suspension cultures. Cultures were examined and subcultured every 3 weeks for 2 months. Embryos formed were then transferred to a solid MS medium supplemented with 10 mg/L inositol, 3 mg/L glycine, 5 mg/L glutamine, and 30 g/L sucrose. The number of embryos germinated from each treatment was counted to compare cultivar differences. Preliminary data suggests that the medium containing 30 g/L sucrose is most effective for embryo maturation, and those embryos germinated when transferred to a solidified MS medium. The study found that incorporating PEG into the medium reduced the hyperhydration of date palm tissues. The various cultivars reacted differently to the treatments employed.