Genetic stability

Plants regenerated through somatic embryogenesis are usually morphologically and cytologically normal, but sometimes a proportion of aberrant plants is obtained. Genetically abnormal plants are more likely to occur where embryogenesis is initiated in callus or suspension cultures after a period of unorganised growth or when embryogenic cultures are maintained for several months (Orton, 1985).

A proportion of albino plants lacking chlorophyll is characteristically produced in anther culture of cereals and grasses (Sunderland and Dunwell, 1977) and during embryogenesis from other monocot explants. Dale et al. (1980) found that plants produced from embryogenic callus cultures of Italian ryegrass were more likely to be devoid of chlorophyll the longer the cultures were maintained. After one year, some cultures produced only albinos. Embryolike structures (although still present on the surface of the callus) tended to be distorted.

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