Direct somatic embryogenesis from leaves and flower receptacles of cineraria
The florists' cineraria, Senecio × hybridus Hyl., is a daisy-like flowering pot plant and a species belonging to the family Asteraceae. Cinerarias are usually considered to be a minor crop of little economic importance and is underutilized as a floricultural crop. However, cinerarias are an excellent subject to demonstrate direct somatic embryogenesis. This chapter focuses on two exercises which illustrate the effects of medium composition on the direct formation of somatic embryos from either leaves or flower receptacles of cineraria. The composition of the basal medium can have dramatic effects on the response of an explant in culture. Somatic embryo initiation and development are often affected by nutrition and also by plant growth regulators (PGRs). Sequential media transfer systems are often necessary to promote induction, maturation, and germination of somatic embryos. The chapter illustrates a three-medium scheme to produce somatic embryos that can germinate and form plants and is adapted from a publication by Malueg.