Preservation of endangered Tunisian grapevine cultivars using embryogenic cultures
Asma Ben Salem
Financial support: High Ministery of Education and Scientific Research and Technology.
Keywords: forced anthers, long-term maintenance, somatic embryos, Vitis vinifera.
The preservation of embryogenic lines derived from several endangered local grapevine cultivars was studied. Embryogenic calluses were obtained from immature anthers of eight cultivars, sampled on both fruity-cuttings and field grown vines. Anthers at the ‘separated flower’ stage, derived from fruity-cuttings, resulted in an increased induction of somatic embryogenesis, compared to those derived from the field. Pro-embryogenic calluses were induced on Chée and Pool (1987) basal medium, supplemented with 9 µM of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 11.35 µM of thidiazuron (TDZ) under dark conditions. Different anther zones (filament, abaxial, adaxial, lateral zones and entire anthers) were involved in somatic embryogenesis induction. The percentages of granular and yellowish pro-embryogenic calluses ranged between 15.6% and 34.8% in ‘Kahli Kerkennah’ and ‘Muscat Raf-raf’ cultivars, respectively. Although, morphological diversifications of pro-embryogenic calluses (several necrosis and spontaneous maturation) were observed on the induction mediumafter 5 subcultures. The reduction of 2,4-D and TDZ levels to 4.52 µM and 2.89 µM respectively, induced granular and yellowish embryogenic material. Thus, Chée and Pool (1987) (CP) enriched with 4.52 µM of 2,4-D and 2.89 µM of TDZ revealed to be the most appropriate for long-term maintenance. In fact, all the cultivars presented high and regular embryo maturation rates after 12, 24, 36 and 48 months of cultivation on this medium, under light conditions. After 4 years, they still exhibit high germination and regeneration abilities. Germination of somatic embryos was achieved on Murashige and Skoog (1962) basal-medium, with rates ranging from 69% to 96%. Only 5% of somatic embryos were concerned by morphological variations. The regenerated plantlets presented a normal phenotype under controlled greenhouse conditions, compared to mother plants.