Effect of light conditions on anatomical and biochemical aspects of somatic and zygotic embryos of hybrid larch (Larix x marschlinsii)




von Aderkas, Patrick
Teyssier, Caroline
Charpentier, Jean-Paul
Gutmann, Markus
Pâques, Luc
Le Metté, Claire
Ader, Kevin
Label, Philippe
Kong, Lisheng
Lelu-Walter, Marie-Anne

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Annals of Botany


Background and Aims: In conifers, mature somatic embryos and zygotic embryos appear to resemble one another physiologically and morphologically. However, phenotypes of cloned conifer embryos can be strongly influenced by a number of in vitro factors and in some instances clonal variation can exceed that found in nature. This study examines whether zygotic embryos that develop within light-opaque cones differ from somatic embryos developing in dark/light conditions in vitro. Embryogenesis in larch is well understood both in situ and in vitro and thus provides a suitable system for addressing this question. Methods: Features of somatic and zygotic embryos of hybrid larch, Larix × marschlinsii, were quantified, including cotyledon numbers, protein concentration and phenol chemistry. Somatic embryos were placed either in light or darkness for the entire maturation period. Embryos at different developmental stages were embedded and sectioned for histological analysis. Key Results: Light, and to a lesser degree abscisic acid (ABA), influenced accumulation of protein and phenolic compounds in somatic and zygotic embryos. Dark-grown mature somatic embryos had more protein (91·77 ± 11·26 µg protein mg–1 f.wt) than either dark-grown zygotic embryos (62·40 ± 5·58) or light-grown somatic embryos (58·15 ± 10·02). Zygotic embryos never accumulated phenolic compounds at any stage, whereas somatic embryos stored phenolic compounds in the embryonal root caps and suspensors. Light induced the production of quercetrin (261·13 ± 9·2 µg g–1 d.wt) in somatic embryos. Mature zygotic embryos that were removed from seeds and placed on medium in light rapidly accumulated phenolics in the embryonal root cap and hypocotyl. Delaying germination with ABA delayed phenolic compound accumulation, restricting it to the embryonal root cap. Conclusions: In larch embryos, light has a negative effect on protein accumulation, but a positive effect on phenol accumulation. Light did not affect morphogenesis, e.g. cotyledon number. Somatic embryos produced different amounts of phenolics, such as quercetrin, depending on light conditions. The greatest difference was seen in the embryonal root cap in all embryo types and conditions.



Larix x marschlinsii, larch, light response, phenolics, proteins, quercetrin, somatic embryogenesis, starch, zygotic embryogenesis, cotyledon, embryonal root cap


von Aderkas, P., Teyssier, C., Charpentier, J-P., Gutmann, M., Pâques, L., Le Metté, C. … Lelu-Walter, M-A. (2015). Effect of light conditions on anatomical and biochemical aspects of somatic and zygotic embryos of hybrid larch (Larix × marschlinsii). Annals of Botany, 115(4), 605-615.