Exposure of Norway spruce (Picea abies) somatic embryos and those of many other conifers to post-maturation desiccation treatment significantly improves their germination. An integration analysis was conducted to understand the underlying processes induced during the desiccation phase at the molecular level. Carbohydrate, protein and phytohormone assays associated with histological and proteomic studies were performed for the evaluation of markers and actors in this phase. Multivariate comparison of mature somatic embryos with mature desiccated somatic embryos and/or zygotic embryos provided new insights into the processes involved during the desiccation step of somatic embryogenesis. Desiccated embryos were characterized by reduced levels of starch and soluble carbohydrates but elevated levels of raffinose family oligosaccharides. Desiccation treatment decreased the content of abscisic acid and its derivatives but increased total auxins and cytokinins. The content of phytohormones in dry zygotic embryos was lower than in somatic embryos, but their profile was mostly analogous, apart from differences in cytokinin profiles. The biological processes “Acquisition of desiccation tolerance”, “Response to stimulus”, “Response to stress” and “Stored energy” were activated in both the desiccated somatic embryos and zygotic embryos when compared to the proteome of mature somatic embryos before desiccation. Based on the specific biochemical changes of important constituents (abscisic acid, raffinose, stachyose, LEA proteins and cruciferins) induced by the desiccation treatment and observed similarities between somatic and zygotic P. abies embryos, we concluded that the somatic embryos approximated to a state of desiccation tolerance. This physiological change could be responsible for the reorientation of Norway spruce somatic embryos toward a stage suitable for germination.
Periodikum nebo kniha