A competent, embryogenic suspension culture of Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb. cv. 'Nagaimo') has been obtained. Embryogenic callus was induced from stem segments cultured on an agar-solidified MS medium containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). One month following placement of the embryogenic callus in a liquid medium containing 2,4-D, the embryogenic tissue began to proliferate rapidly. Established suspension cultures consisted almost entirely of early-stage pro-embryos with very little contamination from non-embryogenic tissues. Under optimum conditions, suspension culture packed cell volume increased 2.5-fold per week. Following transfer of the tissue to a hormone-free medium, the embryogenic tissue developed. Globular embryos were formed within 4 weeks and addition of benzyl adenine further enhanced development and germination. Plantlets were regenerated by culturing embryos on a hormone-free agar-solidified medium. © 1989.
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