We have developed an improved artificial seed system by using a hot-water extract from a marine cyanobacterium, Synechococcus sp. NKBG 042902. Carrot somatic embryos (Daucus carota L.) were divided into two size categories (> 800 μm and 425-800 μm). High frequency germination (91%) was obtained using the large somatic embryos encapsulated in calcium alginate gel containing 400 mg 1-1 of extract. This compares to 35% without addition of the extract. A non-dialysate fraction of the extract showed strong germination-promoting activity compared with a dialysate fraction. The germination frequency of artificial seeds containing 100 mg 1-1 of non-dialysate fraction was more than 90%. Almost all germinating artificial seeds developed into plantlets within 4 days. We also achieved high frequency germination (60%) of artificial seeds encapsulating small somatic embryos (425-800 μm) that contained 100 mg 1-1 of non-dialysate (control 9%). Although the small somatic embryos showed a lower germination frequency than the large embryos, the plantlet development process in these seeds was far more vigorous. Such a high germination frequency has not previously been reported for a carrot artificial seed system.
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