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Establishment and Characterization of Callus and Cell Suspension Cultures of Selected Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench Varieties: A Resource for Gene Discovery in Plant Stress Biology

1
Plant Biotechnology Research Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, Phuthadithjaba 9866, South Africa
2
Germplasm Development, Agricultural Research Council-Small Grain Institute, Bethlehem 9700, South Africa
3
Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, Phuthadithjaba 9866, South Africa
4
Department of Biosciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(5), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9050218
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract

Sorghum, a naturally drought tolerant crop, is genetically diverse and provides a wide gene pool for exploitation in crop breeding. In this study, we experimentally assessed friable callus induction rates of seven sorghum varieties using shoot explant for the generation of cell suspension cultures. The cell suspensions were characterized in terms of cell growth and viability profiles as well as gene expression following 400 mM sorbitol-induced osmotic stress for 72 h. Only ICSB 338, a drought susceptible variety, was readily amenable to friable callus formation. Cell culture growth plots of both ICSB 338 and White sorghum (used as a reference line) depicted typical sigmoidal curves. Interestingly, Evans blue assay showed that ICSB 338 cell cultures are more susceptible to osmotic stress than the White sorghum cells. The osmotic stress treatment also triggered differential expression of eight target genes between the two cell culture lines. Overall, these results suggest that the genetic diversity of sorghum germplasm influences friable callus induction rates and molecular responses to osmotic stress, and could be further exploited in plant stress biology studies. Therefore, we have developed a valuable resource for use in molecular studies of sorghum in response to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sorghum; callus; cell suspension cultures; osmotic stress; cell viability; gene expression Sorghum; callus; cell suspension cultures; osmotic stress; cell viability; gene expression
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Ramulifho, E.; Goche, T.; Van As, J.; Tsilo, T.J.; Chivasa, S.; Ngara, R. Establishment and Characterization of Callus and Cell Suspension Cultures of Selected Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench Varieties: A Resource for Gene Discovery in Plant Stress Biology. Agronomy 2019, 9, 218.

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