Plant regeneration via direct somatic embryogenesis in Panax japonicus
Panax japonicus is one of the important medicinal plants. Here, we established the protocol for plant regeneration of P. japonicus via direct somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos were directly obtained from the segments of zygotic embryos on MS medium with 4.4 μM 2,4-D. Thereafter, somatic embryos were produced by repetitive secondary somatic embryogenesis. The secondary somatic embryo formation was enhanced by plasmolyzing pretreatment (1.0 M mannitol for 10 h). Frequency of secondary somatic embryo formation from cotyledon segments was lowered by plasmolyzing pretreatment, but the number of somatic embryos per explants was greatly increased. Plasmolyzing pretreatment resulted in retardation of embryo growth and required subculture to fresh medium for further growth of embryos into cotyledonary stage. Without plasmolyzing pretreatment, cotyledonary embryos were obtained after 8 weeks of culture. All the cotyledonary somatic embryos germinated by 5 μM GA3 treatment, but only 15.3% were germinated on hormone-free medium. After 2 months of culture on 1/2 strength WPM medium, plantlets produced flowers spontaneously. In the anthers of in vitro flowers, microsporogenesis occurred normally with low number of pollen grains.