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Jolene Wright, Ann Reilley, Jean Labriola, Stephanie Kut and Thomas Orton

An experiment was conducted to determine the types, extent, and heritability of new phenotypic variants recovered from carrot cell cultures initiated from mature tap-root explants of the male-fertile carrot (Daucus carota L.) `Slendero'. Embryogenic callus was transferred to plant-growth-regulator-free medium 66 days after culture initiation, and regenerated plantlets were harvested and eventually planted in a field. The tap roots of mature regenerated plants were vernalized at 5C for 9 weeks and replanted. Of 31 flowering regenerants, 25 exhibited some form of petaloid male sterility; the remaining six regenerants were male fertile. All plants from the same original explant were either all sterile or all fertile. Three generations of sterile regenerant × petaloid cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) maintainer (M) progeny tests showed that the new CMS behaved in a similar manner to that previously reported. Comparison of mitochondrial DNA restriction patterns of sterile and fertile regenerants with those of `Slendero', petaloid CMS, petaloid M, and brown anther CMS lines resulted in the following conclusions: 1) the sterile regenerants exhibited patterns identical to the known petaloid CMS and 2) the fertile regenerants were different from the original `Slendero' and the sterile regenerants and nearly identical to a known petaloid CMS M line. The high frequency of CMS among regenerants from `Slendero' carrot cell cultures may provide an efficient method to develop sterile M tandem lines and corresponding new hybrid varieties.