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Effects of soil drought stress on plant regeneration efficiency and endogenous hormone levels of immature embryos in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Xiaomin Bie, Ke Wang, Chang Liu, Yongwei Liu, Lipu Du, Xinguo Mao and Xingguo Ye

In this study, the water supply in soil for wheat mother donor plants was controlled, leading to drought stress conditions, and the relative soil water content (RSWC) was measured in different soil depths. The immature embryos of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) 13 days post anthesis (DPA) were used to test regeneration capacity. The accumulation of the plant growth regulators (PGRs) including abscisic acid (ABA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the wheat embryos grown under the two conditions was measured. The results indicated that RSWC difference between the drought treatment and the irrigated control was more than 13% at the various soil depths, with the maximum difference was observed at 40 cm depth. Tissue culture evaluation showed that the plant regeneration efficiency of the immature embryos grown under drought stress treatment was significantly higher than that of the tissues grown under the control condition. Assay for PGR found that the drought stress caused obviously increased concentration of endogenous ABA and H2O2, and slightly decreased level of IAA in the target tissues. Therefore, it seems that the concentration of endogenous ABA, IAA, and H2O2 in immature wheat embryos is very important in regeneration capacity. Drought stress can improve the regeneration capacity by changing the levels of ABA, IAA, and H2O2. Our results would be helpful to efficient development of genetically modified wheat plants through improvement of regeneration via manipulating the endogenous PGRs.

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