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Durham University

Department of Biosciences

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Publication details for Dr Steve Chivasa

Ramulifho, Elelwani, Goche, Tatenda, Van As, Johann, Tsilo, Toi John, Chivasa, Stephen & Ngara, Rudo (2019). Establishment and Characterization of Callus and Cell Suspension Cultures of Selected Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench Varieties: A Resource for Gene Discovery in Plant Stress Biology. Agronomy 9(5): 218.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Sorghum, a naturally drought tolerant crop, is genetically diverse and provides a wide gene pool for exploitation in crop breeding. In this study, we experimentally assessed friable callus induction rates of seven sorghum varieties using shoot explant for the generation of cell suspension cultures. The cell suspensions were characterized in terms of cell growth and viability profiles as well as gene expression following 400 mM sorbitol-induced osmotic stress for 72 h. Only ICSB 338, a drought susceptible variety, was readily amenable to friable callus formation. Cell culture growth plots of both ICSB 338 and White sorghum (used as a reference line) depicted typical sigmoidal curves. Interestingly, Evans blue assay showed that ICSB 338 cell cultures are more susceptible to osmotic stress than the White sorghum cells. The osmotic stress treatment also triggered differential expression of eight target genes between the two cell culture lines. Overall, these results suggest that the genetic diversity of sorghum germplasm influences friable callus induction rates and molecular responses to osmotic stress, and could be further exploited in plant stress biology studies. Therefore, we have developed a valuable resource for use in molecular studies of sorghum in response to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses.