In Vitro – Plant

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 73–80 | Cite as

Field planting of alfalfa artificial seeds

  • Jo Ann A. Fujii
  • David Slade
  • Jaime Aguirre-Rascon
  • Keith Redenbaugh
Regular Papers


Encapsulated somatic embryos (artificial seeds) and naked (uncoated) somatic embryos of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were planted directly into the field to demonstrate the feasibility of using artificial seeds for direct sowing. Various row coverings that provided protection for the somatic embryos during conversion (plant formation) in the field and encapsulation methods were investigated. The highest conversion obtained in the field was 25% when naked somatic embryos were planted under the protective covering of inverted styrofoam cups. In comparison, 60% conversion was obtained when embryos were planted in potting mix in a growth chamber. Somatic embryos encapsulated by the thin-coat method converted at 23% under cups in the field and 40% in potting mix in the growth chamber. Naked somatic embryos had an average of 13 and 9% conversion in the field under plastic and cloth coverings, respectively, whereas encapsulated embryos converted at 5 and 14%, respectively. Direct-planted embryos (no row covering) converted at 1% in the field. Successful conversion of coated and naked somatic embryos planted in the field supports the concept of artificial seeds serving as a substitute for natural seeds.

Key words

Medicago conversion embryogenesis encapsulation somatic embryo 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Driver, J. Method for accelerating and propagating plant tissue culture shoots. U.S. Patent 4,612, 725; 1987.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fujii, J.; Slade, D.; Olsen, R., et al. Alfalfa somatic embryo maturation and conversion. Plant Sci. 72:93–100; 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fujii, J.; Slade, D.; Redenbaugh, K. Maturation and greenhouse planting of alfalfa artificial seed. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. 25:1179–1182; 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gray, D.; Purohit, A. Somatic embryogenesis and development of synthetic seed technology. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 10:33–61; 1991.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nichol, J.; Slade, D.; Viss, P., et al. Effect of organic acid pretreatment on the regeneration and development (conversion) of whole plants from callus cultures of alfalfa,Medicago sativa L. Plant Sci. 79:181–192; 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Redenbaugh, K. Artificial seed application to tropical crops. Hort-Science 25:251–255; 1990.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Redenbaugh, K. Application of micropropagation to agronomic crops. In: Debergh, P.; Zimmerman, R., eds. Micropropagation. New York: Kluwer Academic Publisher; 1991:285–310.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Redenbaugh, K., editor. SynSeeds: Application of synthetic seeds to crop improvement. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; In press; 1992.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Redenbaugh, K.; Fujii, J.; Slade, D. Synthetic seed technology. In: Vasil, I., ed. Cell culture and somatic cell genetics of plants: scaleup and automation in plant tissue culture, vol. 8. Orlando, FL: Academic Press; 1991:35–74.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Redenbaugh, K.; Paasch, B.; Nichol, J., et al. Somatic seeds—encapsulation of asexual plant embryos. Bio/Technology 4:797:801; 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Redenbaugh, K.; Walker, K. Role of artificial seeds in alfalfa breeding. In: Bhojwani, S., ed. Plant tissue culture: applications and limitations. Developments in crop science, vol. 19. Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Publications; 1990:102–135.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schenk, R.; Hildebrandt, A. Medium and techniques for induction and growth of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plant cell cultures. Can. J. Bot. 50:199–204; 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Slade, D.; Fujii, J.; Redenbaugh, K. Artificial seeds: a method for the encapsulation of somatic embryos. J. Tissue Cult. Methods 12:179–183; 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stuart, D.; Strickland, S. Somatic embryogenesis from cell cultures ofMedicago sativa L. I. The role of amino acid additions to the regeneration medium. Plant Sci. Lett. 34:165–174; 1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Walker, K.; Sato, S. Morphogenesis in callus tissue ofMedicago sativa: the role of ammonium ion in somatic embryogenesis. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult. 1:109–121; 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Walker, K.; Wendeln, M.; Jaworski, E. Organogenesis in callus tissue ofMedicago sativa. The temporal separation of induction processes from differentiation processes. Plant Sci. Lett. 16:23–30; 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Tissue Culture Association 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Ann A. Fujii
    • 1
  • David Slade
    • 1
  • Jaime Aguirre-Rascon
    • 1
  • Keith Redenbaugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Calgene, Inc.Davis

Personalised recommendations