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Adventitious regeneration in vitro occurs across a wide spectrum of squash (Cucurbita pepo) genotypes

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Abstract

Cucurbita pepo L. (squash, pumpkin) is a highly polymorphic vegetable species of major importance. Our study characterized a spectrum of C. pepo germplasm for the ability to regenerate in vitro by direct organogenesis from cotyledon explants. Cultivars tested included both cultivated subspecies, texana and pepo, and nearly all of their respective cultivar-groups. Direct shoot regeneration occurred in all accessions, and was generally high (56–94%), with a single exception of 22% (‘Bolognese’). There was no significant difference between the percentage regeneration of the two subspecies. Shoot regeneration per responding explant was uniform (1.2–1.6 shoots per explant). Only ‘True French’ produced statistically more shoots (3.9 per explant) than other accessions. The morphology of regeneration varied. Most cultivars produced long shoots, often fasciated, amid a few small buds. Some subspecies pepo cultivars (Beirut, Yugoslavia 7, Ma’yan and True French) produced short, massive, hollow shoots, sometimes accompanied by shoots that were more normal. Two subspecies texana cultivars (Creamy Straightneck and Small Bicolor) produced single (sometimes double) shoots without other buds. The production of chimeric (mixoploid) regenerants varied and there was a tendency to regenerate chimeric plants from the widest-fruited accessions (i.e. lowest length-to-width ratio) in each subspecies. Subspecies pepo Pumpkin Group ‘Tondo di Nizza’ showed significantly greater production of chimeric regenerants. In comparison with the great range of variation observed in fruit shape, the variation of in vitro responses (mostly less than 2-fold in regeneration and shoot production) was less than expected.

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Acknowledgements

Contribution from the Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel, No. 513/05. This work was partially supported by Research Grant No. US2541-95R from BARD, The United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund to V.G., K. Kathiravan received a BOYSCAST Fellowship from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

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Correspondence to Victor Gaba.

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Kathiravan, K., Vengedesan, G., Singer, S. et al. Adventitious regeneration in vitro occurs across a wide spectrum of squash (Cucurbita pepo) genotypes. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 85, 285–295 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-006-9079-1

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Keywords

  • chimeric regenerant
  • direct regeneration
  • multiple genotypes
  • ploidy
  • subspecies