Somatic embryo (bipolar) or shoot (monopolar) morphogenesis in mesophyll cells of Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham in vitro was dependent on the type of auxin supplementing Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing benzyladenine. Direct in vitro morphogenesis, i.e., organogenesis, and somatic embryogenesis were significantly influenced by seasonal growth of the donor plant, explant position (proximal, mid, and distal), and light. Explants collected in March/April were superior to July/August material. Proximal explants underwent morphogenesis more readily than mid- and tip-derived explants. Incubation in the light favored morphogenesis while darkness was inhibitory. Kinetin (Kn) was also inhibitory to morphogenesis. MS medium enriched with different levels of N6-benzyladenine (BA) alone, or in combination with α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) or indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), induced adventitious shoots directly. Explants collected in March/April cultured on medium with 13.3 μM BA and 2.69 μM NAA developed the highest number of shoots, a mean of 15.2 shoots per proximal explant. Developed shoots rooted the best on half-strength MS medium with 2.46 μM indole-3-butyric acid, which developed a mean of 5.2 roots per shoot. Rooted healthy shoots could be transplanted to small pots, with an 80% survival rate. Addition of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) to BA-supplemented medium was obligatory to develop somatic embryos. MS medium containing 2.26 μM 2,4-D and 4.44 μM BA induced a mean of 44.8 somatic embryos per proximal explant. The embryos passed through distinct stages of embryogenesis, namely globular, heart, torpedo, and early cotyledonary. The embryos (88%) underwent maturation on half-strength MS medium with 2.89 μM gibberellic acid (GA3), and its subsequent transfer on half-strength MS basal medium in light conditions facilitated 80% conversion of embryos to plantlets. Direct shoots or embryos were originated from the mesophyll cells. Somatic embryo development was concurrent with the independent origin of vasculature in the bulbous basal portion. The survival rate of embryo-derived plants was 90%.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3