The influence of donor plant growth environment, microspore development stage, culture media and incubation conditions on microspore embryogenesis was studied in three Indian B. juncea varieties. The donor plants were grown under varying environments: field conditions, controlled conditions, or a combination of the two. The correlation analysis between the bud size and microspore development stage revealed that the bud size is an accurate marker for donor plants grown under controlled conditions, however, the same does not hold true for the field-grown plants. The buds containing late uninucleate microspores collected from plants grown under normal field conditions up to bolting stage and then transferred to controlled environment were observed to be most responsive with genotypic variability ranging from 10 to 35 embryos per Petri dish, irrespective of the other factors. NLN medium containing 13% sucrose was found to be most suitable for induction of embryogenesis. The fortification of this medium with activated charcoal, polyvinylpyrrolidone, colchicine, or growth regulators (6-benzylaminopurine and 1-naphthaleneacetic acid) was observed to be antagonistic for microspore embryogenesis, while silver nitrate (10 μM) had a significant synergistic effect. A post-culture high-temperature incubation of microspores at 32.5 ± 1°C for 10–15 d was found most suitable for high-frequency production of microspore embryos. The highest frequency of microspore embryogenesis (78 embryos per Petri dish) was observed from the late uninucleate microspores (contained in bud sizes 3.1–3.5 mm irrespective of genotype) cultured on NLN medium containing 13% sucrose and silver nitrate (10 μM), and incubated at 32.5°C for 10–15 d.
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