Cefotaxime prevents microbial contamination and improves microspore embryogenesis in wheat and triticale.

Asif, M., Eudes, F., Randhawa, H.S., Amundsen, E.J., Yanke, L.J., and Spaner, D.M. (2013). "Cefotaxime prevents microbial contamination and improves microspore embryogenesis in wheat and triticale.", Plant Cell Reports, 32(10), pp. 1637-1646. doi : 10.1007/s00299-013-1476-4  Access to full text


Isolated microspore culture is a promising option to rapidly fix the product of meiotic recombination of F1 hybrids, in the process of varietal development. Clean culture and high embryogenesis rate are essential to commercial triticale and wheat microspore cultures. So, this study investigated (1) contaminants from isolated microspores cultures, (2) two antibiotics to control bacterial growth, and (3) the contribution of antibiotics to increased microspore-derived embryo-like structures (ELS), green and albino plants. Five species of bacteria were identified in contaminated cultures (Erwinia aphidicola, Pantoea agglomerans, Pseudomonas sp., Staphylococcus epidermis and Staphylococcus warneri) using fatty acid analysis and 16S ribosomal RNA sequences analysis, and yeast. Antibacterial susceptibility test using Cefotaxime and Vancomycin resulted in strong inhibition of 24 bacterial isolates, using Cefotaxime at 100 mg/l, but not Pseudomonas sp. Other antibiotic treatments inhibited bacterial growth at least partially. Microspore induction medium supplemented with the same antibiotics treatments resulted in successful microspore embryogenesis and green plant production. Antibiotic treatments were first tested in triticale and then validated in wheat cultivars AC Carberry and AC Andrew. Induction medium supplemented with Cefotaxime at 50 and 100 mg/l substantially increased the formation of ELS and green plants in triticale and wheat, respectively. Incidentally, it also affected the occurrence of albinism in all genotypes. Our results demonstrated dual purpose of Cefotaxime for isolated microspore culture, most importantly it increases cell growth and success of microspore cultures in triticale and wheat genotypes, but would also prevent accidental loss of cultures with most common bacterial contaminants.

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