Somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration from embryo rescue cultures of F1 hybrids of teff with its wild relatives.
The application of tissue culture techniques, particularly in the area of embryo rescue, has had a major impact on the maintenance and development of hybrid embryo from wide crosses. Embryo rescue techniques are directed towards obtaining more efficient survival of embryos in situations where very immature embryos are to be cultured. An in vitro embryo rescue culture technique has been developed for F1 hybridsof Eragrostis tef with its wild relativesin order to transgress desirable characteristics to this species that may alleviate the shortcomings of conventional breeding. Eight F1 hybrids were taken from the cross of two wild species of E. tef; namely E. pilosa accessions30-5 and 37 80 82; and E. curvula with 4 cultivars of E. tef; namely Kaye Murri, DZ-Cr-387, DZ-Cr-37 and DZ-01-196. Florets were excised from panicles after six days of artificial crossing, and cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 6 different concentrations of 2,4-D. Among these concentrations, 4.5 μM and 0.45 μM 2,4-D were found to be the best for induction of somatic embryos from the cross of E. pilosa (30-5)X‘Kaye Murri‘ (46.7%) and E. pilosa (30-5)X‘DZ-Cr-37‘ (13.3%), respectively. Twenty one somatic embryos were obtained from a total of 635 cultured florets of F1 hybrids. Somatic embryos were regenerated into plantlets in half MS medium without plant growth regulators. Plantlets of F1 hybrids of E. pilosa (30-5)X‘Kaye Murri‘ were successfully transferred into pots. A total of 442 single plantlets were regenerated till maturity. They were uniform, normal, fertile and had no abberations. Morphologically, the hybrid plantlets showed inherited characteristics of both parents.
Key Words: Eragrostis Tef, florets, hybrids, wild variety