The factors affecting the induction and development of somatic embryos and plantlet acclimatization of peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) were evaluated to establish an efficient regenerative protocol based on somatic embryogenesis. Mature zygotic embryos were cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0–40 μM of picloram (4-amino-3,5,6-trichloropicolinic acid) and 0 or 5 μM of 2-isopentyladenine (6-dimethylami-nopurine) (2-iP). After 5 mo. in culture embryogenic callus arose from primary calli. Picloram (10 μM) was effective in inducing embryogenic calli in 9.8% of the explants. The use of 1 μM of AgNO3 enhanced embryogenic competence. Embryogenic calli showed an organized structure, a globular aspect, and were white to yellowish in color. Histological analyses showed that cell proliferation arose from subepidermal cells adjacent to vascular bundles, resulting in primary callus formed by a meristematic zone from which somatic embryos arose. Protein profile analyses revealed two high molecular mass bands in these embryogenic calli, but not in other tissues. Embryogenic calli were transferred to a culture medium containing 40 μM of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 10 μM of 2-iP, plus 1 g l−1 of glutamine, hydrolyzed 0.5 g l−1 casein, and activated 1.5 g l−1 of charcoal. Morphogenetic responses achieved in this medium were the development of somatic embryos, rooting, and loss of embryogenic capacity. Somatic embryos were converted to plantlets on MS medium plus 24.6 μM of 2-iP and 0.44 μM of naphthalene acetic acid. Plantlets were maintained in MS medium with activated charcoal (1.5 g l−1) until they were 6 cm tall, and then acclimatized. After 16 wk, 84.2±6.4% survival was observed.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2