Auxin levels at different stages of carrot somatic embryogenesis

Lech Michalczuk, Todd J. Cooke, Jerry D. Cohen

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The role of auxin in somatic embryogenesis was evaluated by characterizing the changes in the concentrations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and their conjugates in callus suspension cells and developing embryos of Daucus carota. Both embryogenic and non-embryogenic lines exhibited similar growth rates and levels of IAA and 2,4-D on 2,4-D-supplemented medium. Total endogenous IAA in both lines exposed to 2,4-D reached high levels greater than 600 ng g-1 fresh weight which suggests that IAA levels in carrot callus are not regulated via auxin feedback mechanisms. After being transferred to 2,4-D-free medium, the embryogenic line exhibited a rapid decline in both free and conjugated 2,4-D metabolites within seven days, while IAA levels remained relatively steady for seven days in the preglobular stage after which the levels declined steadily in all subsequent stages of embryo development. Individual analyses of different embryo fractions collected from asynchronous cultures confirmed that each stage in embryo development had lower IAA levels than the preceding stage. The non-embryogenic line maintained similar 2,4-D levels but higher IAA levels than the embryogenic line throughout the experiment. The present results suggest that high IAA levels may be necessary but are not sufficient for the initial events in plant embryogenesis, whereas low IAA levels are associated with the later stages of embryo development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1103
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements-This paper is dedicated to Aga Schulze on the occasion of her retirement from Michigan State University. We thank Dr H. Lamar Gibble and Marie K. Wykle (Brethren Service Exchange Programs) and Prof. S. W. Zagaja (Research Institute of Pomology, Sktemiewice, Poland), for their help and commitment to scientific personnel exchange.T hese studies were supported by United States Department of Agriculture competitive research grant 89-37261-4791,N ational Science Foundation grant DCB-8917378, and the U.S. -Israel Binational Agrtcultural Research and Development fund (BARD US-1362-87). This work was carried out. in part, under cooperative agreementN o. 58-32U4-8-34 of the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and the Universtty of Maryland. Scientific article number A6096 contribution number 8261 of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
  • Daucus carota
  • Umbelliferae
  • auxin
  • carrot
  • indole-3-acetic acid
  • somatic embryogenesis

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