The influence of light quality on competence and determination for organogenesis was investigated using lettuce cotyledon explants. Lettuce seedlings from four genotypes were germinated in the dark or under white, red, or blue light. Cotyledon explants were excised and cultured on a shoot-inducing medium for 28 d under white light. Germination in the dark reduced shoot numbers, suggesting that light improves the competence of explants for organogenesis. When explants from seedlings germinated under white light were cultured under different light qualities, blue was found to inhibit shoot production while red light either promoted production or had no effect on shoot number compared to controls. Treatment with blue plus red light failed to overcome the inhibition by blue light. To ascertain the temporal responses of explants to light quality, they were cultured under red or blue light prior to transfer to the alternate treatment. Exposure to blue light within 7 d of excision permanently reduced explant competence for organogenesis. Exposure after this time had a minimal effect. These results suggest that both phytochrome and cryptochrome can regulate shoot production from lettuce cotyledon explants and blue light can only inhibit organogenesis, in lettuce, during a relatively small developmental window.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2