Somatic embryogenesis in clonal neem, Azadirachta indica A. Juss and analysis for in vitro azadirachtin production
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Efficient and highly reproducible induction of somatic embryogenesis was obtained in four out of seven selected clones of neem, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. This was achieved either directly from root and nodal explants or indirectly from callus cultures initiated from leaf explants excised from 1-yr-old axenic plants. Direct induction of somatic embryogenesis was achieved both from nodal and root segments within 8 wk of culture on MS1 medium without growth regulators. However, the addition of 2.3-4.5 mM thidiazuron and 0.5 mM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid into the medium were necessary to induce somatic embryogenesis via callus phase from leaf explants. Repetitive embryogenesis was observed within 3-4 wk following transfer of somatic embryos to a plant growth regulator-free medium. When somatic embryos of nodal and root segments were left on the induction medium without subculturing, approximately 15% of the somatic embryos developed into whole plantlets after passing through a series of developmental stages. Plantlets thus produced were hardy, lush green, and acclimatized easily under greenhouse conditions. However, somatic embryos derived from leaf explants showed low conversion rates (,5%). HPLC analysis revealed no detectable levels of azadirachtin in somatic embryos.
In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY