, Volume 174, Issue 1, pp 73–82 | Cite as

Embryo rescue and plant regeneration following interspecific crosses in the genus Hylocereus (Cactaceae)

  • Aroldo Cisneros
  • Noemi Tel-Zur


The aim of this study was to develop an efficient methodology to rescue embryos following interspecific crosses in the genus Hylocereus. Crosses between the diploids Hylocereus polyrhizus and H. undatus in both directions were performed. Fertilized ovules carrying embryos at very early pro-embryonic stages were excised from ovaries 5 days after pollination (DAP) and placed on half-strength basal MS medium containing 680 μM glutamine, 0.55 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), 0.45 μM thidiazuron (TDZ) and various concentrations of sucrose. After 30 days in culture, ovules were isolated from the surrounding tissue and transferred to the same fresh medium. Significant differences were found between the main effects (cross and sucrose concentration) in ovule response, i.e., increased ovule size and callus formation. The best responses were obtained in the cross: H. polyrhizus × H. undatus; and sucrose concentration of 0.09 M. In terms of embryo conversion, polyembryony and number of regenerated plants, the highest responses were observed on the culture medium supplemented with 0.17 M sucrose in both interspecific crosses. All tested plants were found to be diploid by flow cytometric analyses. Fluorescent amplified—fragment length polymorphism (fAFLP) confirmed the hybrid origin of the regenerated plants. This study reports on the success of a three-step embryo rescue procedure for Hylocereus species. The procedure developed here provides the means for producing plants from very-early embryo stage, thus expanding the prospects for vine-cactus breeding programs.


Cactaceae Embryo rescue Flow cytometry Fluorescent AFLP α-Naphthaleneacetic Ovule culture Thidiazuron 



Ratio between total number of callus divided by the number of ovules


Days after pollination


Fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism


α-Naphthaleneacetic acid





The authors are grateful to Dr. B. Schneider for editing the manuscript and Mr. J. Mouyal for his valuable assistance in the course of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.A. Katz Department of Dryland Biotechnologies, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevSede-Boqer CampusIsrael
  2. 2.French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevSede-Boqer CampusIsrael

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