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The Role of Abscisic Acid in Induction of Androgenesis: A Comparative Study Between Hordeum vulgare L. Cvs. Igri and Digger

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Under the same mannitol pretreatment and culture conditions, regeneration efficiency in the barley cultivar (cv.) Igri was about 10 times higher than in the cv. Digger, a difference only partially reflected by a difference in viable microspores after anther pretreatment. Therefore, a comparative study between cvs. Igri and Digger was carried out under various pretreatment conditions. For both cultivars, under water, CPW buffer and mannitol pretreatment conditions, there was a positive correlation between microspore viability and regeneration efficiency in that mannitol > CPW buffer >> water. Mannitol pretreatment of cv. Igri produced a much higher endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) level than as to Digger. Addition of ABA stimulated both percentages of viability and regeneration efficiency except in the case of mannitol pretreatment. Under CPW buffer pretreatment conditions, addition of ABA significantly stimulated regeneration efficiency and was ABA concentration dependent. However, cv. Digger was less responsive to ABA than cv. Igri. In both cultivars, under less optimal pretreatment conditions (e.g., water and CPW buffer), the effect of ABA was to stimulate increased percentages of viability and/or to reduce the number of binucleate microspores. Moreover, in cv. Igri, direct culture of anthers for 4 days without pretreatment caused an increased number of binucleate microspores compared with microspores with pretreatment for 4 days. These binucleate microspores showed DNA degradation in the nuclei. However, with mannitol pretreatment binucleate microspores and DNA fragmentation in the nuclei of microspores was rarely observed. On the basis of our observations, we suggest that the difference in regeneration efficiency in cv. Igri and cv. Digger is related to the differences in endogenous ABA production levels under mannitol pretreatment and responsiveness to ABA. One of the effects of ABA is likely due to an inhibition of cell death.

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Received May 21, 1999; accepted October 5, 1999

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van Bergen, S., Kottenhagen, M., van der Meulen, R. et al. The Role of Abscisic Acid in Induction of Androgenesis: A Comparative Study Between Hordeum vulgare L. Cvs. Igri and Digger. J Plant Growth Regul 18, 135–143 (1999).

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