Plant morphogenesis in vitro can be achieved via two pathways, somatic embryogenesis or organogenesis. Relationships between the culture medium and explant leading to morphogenesis are complex and, despite extensive study, remain poorly understood. Primarily the composition and ratio of plant growth regulators are manipulated to optimize the quality and numbers of embryos or organs initiated. However, many species and varieties do not respond to this classical approach and require further optimization by the variation of other chemical or physical factors. Mineral nutrients form a significant component of culture media but are often overlooked as possible morphogenic elicitors. The combination of minerals for a particular plant species and developmental pathway are usually determined by the empirical manipulation of one or a combination of existing published formulations. Often only one medium type is used for the duration of culture even though this formulation may not be optimal for the different stages of explant growth and development. Furthermore, mineral studies have often focused on growth rather than morphogenesis with very little known of the relationships between mineral uptake and morphogenesis. This article examines the present knowledge of the main effects that mineral nutrients have on plant morphogenesis in vitro. In particular, the dynamics of nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium supply during development are discussed.
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Ramage, C.M., Williams, R.R. Mineral nutrition and plant morphogenesis. In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.-Plant 38, 116–124 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1079/IVP2001269