Effect of Abscisic Acid (ABA) on Desiccation Tolerance in Maturation Stage of Oil Palm Somatic Embryos
Keywords:oil palm, somatic embryo, maturation, ABA, dessication treatment
Oil palm is a member of Palmae Family that has an important economic value because its fruit containing very useful oils. The result of oil refinery can produced frying oil, raw materials for margarine and soap manufacture, lubricating material in steel industry, and as an alternative fuel (biodiesel). In Indonesian oil palm is generally cultivated by seed, which is heterozygote. Therefore, it obstructs production enhancement and cause a problem in supplying high yielding clone. Tissue culture technique via somatic embryogenesis is very potential to produce plant in large scale and in a relatively shorter time. In addition, it will reduce somaclonal variation so that the plantlet will be the same as their mother plant. Somatic embryogenesis include induction, development, maturation, germination, and convertion. The crucial problem in maturation of the somatic embryo is embryo does not mature and it only forms shoot in germination. This problem can be overcome by treatment of the somatic embryo using ABA (abscisic acid). ABA is known to be involved in late maturation phase to desiccation tolerance by inducing LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) protein synthesis. Desiccation tolerance is required after the seed mature as a strategy for seed in order to survive in facing environmental stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ABA on desiccation tolerance in maturation phase of oil palm somatic embryo. This study used somatic embryo that has been cultured on maturation medium I supplemented with 5 mM arginine and 20 mM glutamine. Subsequently, the somatic embryos were cultured on maturation medium II (MM II) supplemented with ABA 0 mM (control), 10 mM, 25 mM, and 50 mM. After 2 weeks of culture, based on one-way ANOVA (p < 0.05), means of embryo fresh weight difference of each treatment group and control did not significantly different, indicating that ABA concentrations in MM II did not significantly affected the embryo fresh weight. On the other hand, ultrastructure observation of embryo by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed the accumulation of starch and protein outside the vacuole, which is assumed as LEA protein. Desiccation treatment in three variations times, namely 2 hr, 3 hr, and 4 hr with filter papers resulted in gradually increasing loss of water percentage. For treatment group of 25 mM ABA, loss of water percentage did not increase drastically. Therefore, it was showed the effect of 25 mM ABA that tolerance to desiccation.
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