Somatic Embryos in Catharanthus roseus: A Scanning Electron Microscopic Study

Junaid ASLAM, Abdul MUJIB, Mahendra Prasad SHARMA


Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don is an important medicinal plant as it contains several anti-cancerous compounds, like vinblastine and vincristine. Plant tissue culture technology (organogenesis and embryogenesis) has currently been used in fast mass propagating raw materials for secondary metabolite synthesis. In this present communication, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) study of somatic embryos was conducted and discussed. The embryogenic callus was first induced from hypocotyls of in vitro germinated seeds on which somatic embryos, differentiated in numbers, particularly on 2,4-D (1.0 mg/L) Murashige and Skoog (MS) was medium. To understand more about the regeneration method and in vitro formed embryos SEM was performed. The SEM study revealed normal somatic embryo origin and development from globular to heart-, torpedo- and then into cotyledonary-stage of embryos. At early stage, the embryos were clustered together in a callus mass and could not easily be detached from the parental tissue. The embryos were often long cylindrical structure with or without typical notch at the tip. Secondary embryos were also formed on primary embryo structure. The advanced cotyledonary embryos showed prominent roots and shoot axis, which germinated into plantlets. The morphology, structure and other details of somatic embryos at various stages were presented.

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Under the aegis of Horticulture and Forestry Society from Transylvania