Factors Affecting Developmental Processes in Alfalfa Cell Cultures

  • David A. Stuart
  • Janet Nelsen
  • Steven G. Strickland
  • James W. Nichol
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 32)


The development of somatic embryos in alfalfa is strongly influenced by the presence of a reduced nitrogen source during embryogeny. Amino acids such as proline, alanine, arginine, and glutamine at high concentrations (30 mM and above) improve embryo yields. The effect of proline on embryo yield is the result of a synergistic interaction of proline and ammonium. The quality of embryogenesis is also enhanced by amino acids as measured by improved morphology and conversion of embryos to plantlets. An additional measure of somatic embryo quality may be the expression of the seed-specific 7S and 11S storage proteins common to legume seeds. Somatic embryos of alfalfa show little expression of these storage proteins following induction on high 2,4-D medium. If low 2,4-D induction is used, embryo morphology and conversion to plantlets are improved and expression of storage protein is high for both the 7S and 11S proteins. These results are discussed with respect to the developmental program of zygotic embryos.


Somatic Embryo Somatic Embryogenesis Storage Protein Embryo Quality Seed Meal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Stuart
    • 1
  • Janet Nelsen
    • 1
  • Steven G. Strickland
    • 1
  • James W. Nichol
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Genetics, Inc.DavisUSA

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