The aim of the project is to evaluate the response of Norway spruce somatic embryos to abiotic stresses. Somatic embryos will be exposed to different desiccation treatments (high temperature and decreased humidity) and to different doses of UV-B radiation. The alterations of activities of polyamine biosynthetic enzymes and contents of polyamines, abscisic acid (a key endogenous messenger in a plant's response to stresses) and the extent of lipid peroxidation will be evaluated in somatic embryos cultured in stress conditions.
The histochemical tests for the presence of polyphenolic substances after the exposure of embryos to UV-B radiation will complete the biochemical analyses.
The collaboration with the Slovak group will complement the research with studies of the family of chitinases at molecular level that will enable to study contemporarily the isoforms important for embryo development as well as dynamics of ongoing stress. The use of somatic embryos will facilitate detailed studies of early physiological responses to various kinds of environmental stresses.