Field Performance of Cell Suspension-Derived Tall Fescue Regenerants and Their Half-sib Families
- F. J. Stadelmann,
- R. Kölliker,
- B. Boller,
- G. Spangenberg and
- J. Nösberger
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zürich-Reckenholz, CH-8046 Zürich Plant Sciences and Biotechnology, Agriculture Victoria, La Trobe Univ., Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia Abstract
The application of biotechnology to forage grass has the potential to complement and speed up conventional breeding. To ascertain the suitability of regenerants for improvement programs, primary regenerants of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cv Tacuabé and their progenies were investigated in a field experiment located in Eschikon near Zürich (Switzerland). Thereby, the following two aspects were focused on. First, do regenerated plants and their progenies perform similar to seed-grown plants; and second, do different regeneration systems have an effect on the performance of the regenerants? Two sets of plants, regenerated from different single-genotype derived embryogenic suspension cultures (ESC) of tall fescue, were evaluated for agronomic traits in a replicated field experiment for three growing seasons. Embryogenic suspension cultures were either routinely subcultured or cryopreserved and re-established. Seed from the primary regenerated and seed-grown plants were harvested to evaluate morphological and phenological traits of corresponding halfsib progenies in a further field experiment. When compared with seed-grown plants of the same cultivar, primary regenerants showed reduced vegetative growth and fertility. The performance of plants regenerated from cryopreserved-reestablished ESC was not inferior to corresponding plants regenerated from routinely subcultured ESC. The performance of progenies of regenerated plants did not differ from those of seed-grown plants and was within the range of the cultivar. There was no effect of the regeneration system on the performance of corresponding progenies; thus, suggesting that the weak growth of the primary regenerants was most likely of epigenetic origin. Therefore regenerated plants can be integrated into breeding programs without major restrictions.
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