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Isozyme modifications and plant regeneration through somatic embryogenesis in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.)

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The potential of somatic embryogenesis was evaluated for 10 cultivars of sweet potato through extensive embryogenic response and isozyme analysis. Embryogenic callus was induced by incubating lateral buds on Murashige and Skoog medium containing 10 μM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid for 6–8 weeks. The frequency of embryogenic response was low, and varied with genotypes, ranging from 0 to 17%. Embryo to plantlet formation could be enhanced by the use of the combination of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid with kinetin, both used at 0.01 μM. Embryogenic callus with its potential of plantlet formation has constantly been maintained for over two years. However, after several subcultures, 0.5 to 12% of embryogenic callus reverted irreversibly into friable fast-growing non-embryogenic callus whose ability to regenerate shoots was then definitively lost. The isozymes of esterase, peroxidase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and acid phosphatase investigated in this study were found appropriate to distinguish compact embryogenic from friable non-embryogenic callus in sweet potato. In fact, the callus reversion was associated with a loss of bands or a decline in isozyme activity. On the contrary, very small changes in isozyme activity or no specific changes at all were observed during the differentiation of embryogenic callus into globular embryos.

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acid phosphatase






degree of freedom


2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid




glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase


indole-3-acetic acid


Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium






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Communicated by A. M. Boudet

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Cavalcante Alves, J.M., Sihachakr, D., Allot, M. et al. Isozyme modifications and plant regeneration through somatic embryogenesis in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.). Plant Cell Reports 13, 437–441 (1994).

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Key words

  • Ipomoea batatas
  • embryogenic and non-embryogenic callus
  • somatic embryos
  • isozymes