Artificial Seeds in Micropropagation
Jens Viktor Nørgaard
DEFINITION OF SYNTHETIC SEEDS
In the broadest possible sense, artificial seeds are a way of transferring somatic embryos or shoots from sterile tissue culture to nonsterile conditions, with or without an artificial seed endosperm. In a strict sense it is a somatic embryo with an artificial endosperm or seed coat. Thus, artificial seeds have no direct relation to the propagation method.
Redenbaugh et al. (1991) define the following four types of artificial seed:
- Uncoated, desiccated synthetic seeds
- Coated, desiccated synthetic seeds
- Coated, hydrated synthetic seeds
- Uncoated, hydrated synthetic seeds
The major research effort has been conducted with coated, hydrated synthetic seeds.
Encapsulation has several advantages over traditional acclimatization and soil establishment of somatic embryos.
- Micropropagated plants can be delivered directly to the nursery/greenhouse without acclimatization. Acclimatization and several handling steps are saved.
- The artificial endosperm and
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