The diploid cotton species can constitute a valuable gene pool for the more agronomically desirable cultivated tetraploid cultivars and offer better opportunities to study gene structure and function through gene knockouts. In order to exploit these advantages, a regeneration system is required to achieve these transformation-based goals. Carbohydrate source and concentration were evaluated to improve somatic embryo (SE) production and desiccation treatments to improve the conversion efficiency of SEs to plants in a diploid Gossypium arboreum accession, A2-9 (PI-529712). Improved SE numbers and their subsequent conversion into plantlets was achieved with a Murashige and Skoog (MS)/sucrose-based medium M2 [0.04 M sucrose, 0.3 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA)]. On this medium, 219 embryos per g initiated, and close to 11% of these embryos germinated into plantlets. Neither a 5-d desiccation treatment of embryogenic callus previously cultured in liquid medium nor filter paper insertion improved the numbers of SEs induced or their conversion to plantlets. A 3-d desiccation period resulted in improved plant regeneration. When immature G. arboreum SEs induced on M1 (0.2 M glucose, 2.6 μM NAA, and 0.2 μM kinetin) medium underwent a 3-d desiccation treatment, 49% of these immature SEs were converted to plantlets after a 4-wk period on M2 medium. These improved results will help to pave the way for future genetic transformation and associated gene structure and function studies utilizing G. arboreum. These results, in particular the 3-d desiccation treatment, can also be incorporated into regeneration protocols to improve the regeneration efficiency of other Gossypium species.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2