High-efficiency somatic embryogenesis of a broad range of Brazilian Saccharum spp. hybrids (sugarcane) varieties using explants from previously established in vitro plants

  • Gabriela Ferreira Nogueira
  • Zanderluce Gomes Luis
  • Moacir Pasqual
  • Jonny Everson Scherwinski-PereiraEmail author


The current study assessed the embryogenic potential of different Brazilian Saccharum spp. hybrid (sugarcane) varieties, using explants from previously established in vitro plants, and determined the morphogenic capacity of calluses to regenerate plants during consecutive subcultures. After examining various explant lengths (1 to 15 mm) for callus initiation, an optimal length of 12 mm was determined, and 14 sugarcane varieties were studied. Callus induction occurred on Murashige and Skoog medium with 3.0 mg L−1 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, in the dark. After 40 d, calluses were divided according to their predominant type: the mucilaginous part remained in the dark on fresh induction medium, whereas the compact nodular callus fraction was transferred to a regeneration medium containing 1.86 mg L−1 1-naphthaleneacetic acid and 0.09 mg L−1 6-benzylaminopurine and was cultivated in light. This callus selection based on morphological type took place over three consecutive subcultures, spanning 22 wk. The embryogenic process was asynchronous and the formation of the first plants was registered at 6 wk of cultivation. The embryogenic callus regeneration rate was kept at over 60% until the third subculture in 13 of the 14 varieties examined. However, delayed regeneration was observed, likely due to the aging of calluses. The protocol reported here utilized the embryogenic potential of sugarcane varieties in combination with efficient and quick regeneration and should thus provide an attractive alternative source material for the production of transgenics and/or large-scale clonal multiplication of sugarcane.


Saccharum spp. callus culture Selective subculture Morphogenic capacity Large-scale propagation Regeneration 



We would like to thank Dr. Adriane Amaral (Embrapa Tabuleiros Costeiros, Aracaju, Brazil) for providing the biological material for the experiments.

Author’s contribution

GFN performed experiments, analyzed and interpreted data, and wrote the manuscript. ZGL helped with the morpho-anatomical and histochemical analyses. MP analyzed data and wrote the manuscript. JESP assisted in the selection and collection of sugarcane material in the field, designed experiments, analyzed and interpreted data, and wrote the manuscript. All authors agreed on the final version for publication.

Funding information

Current research was partially funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Grant 305121/2015-4), by Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (Finep, Grant 01.08.0597.01), and by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Capes/Embrapa 001-2011/Grant 39).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Capes/Embrapa Postoctoral Fellowship ProgramEmbrapa Genetic Resources and BiotechnologyBrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa Genetic Resources and BiotechnologyBrasíliaBrazil

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