Enhancing plant regeneration in tissue culture

Kristine Hill & G. Eric Schaller

Micropropagation is used for commercial purposes worldwide, but the capacity to undergo somatic organogenesis and plant regeneration varies greatly among species. The plant hormones auxin and cytokinin are critical for plant regeneration in tissue culture, with cytokinin playing an instrumental role in shoot organogenesis. Type-B response regulators govern the transcriptional output in response to cytokinin and are required for plant regeneration. In our paper published in Plant Physiology, we explored the functional redundancy among the 11 type-B Arabidopsis response regulators (ARRs). Interestingly, we discovered that the enhanced expression of one family member, ARR10, induced hypersensitivity to cytokinin in multiple assays, including callus greening and shoot induction of explants. Here we 1) discuss the hormone dependence for in vitro plant regeneration, 2) how manipulation of the cytokinin response has been used to enhance plant regeneration, and 3) the potential of the ARR10 transgene as a tool to increase the regeneration capacity of agriculturally important crop plants. The efficacy of ARR10 for enhancing plant regeneration likely arises from its ability to transcriptionally regulate key cytokinin responsive genes combined with an enhanced protein stability of ARR10 compared with other type-B ARRs. By increasing the capacity of key tissues and cell types to respond to cytokinin, ARR10, or other type-B response regulators with similar properties, could be used as a tool to combat the recalcitrance of some crop species to tissue culture techniques.

Plant Signaling & Behavior 8 (10)