Lignin release and photomixotrophism in suspension cultures of Picea abies


L. K. Simola (corresponding author)


The effect of different concentrations of sucrose (0-4%) and of two growth regulators (0–50 μM 2,4-D and 0–25 μM kinetin) was tested on growth and chlorophyll content of suspension cultures of Picea abies (L.) Karst. originating from chlorophyllous embryo callus in an elevated CO2 (2%) atmosphere. A continuous chlorophyllous suspension culture was achieved on a medium containing 2% sucrose and a low level of organic nitrogen (0.25 mM arginine and 0.5 mM glutamine) supplemented with 2,4-D (0.5 μM) and kinetin (2.5 μM). The same medium with 4% sucrose gave the best growth response, but a negative correlation between chlorophyll level and growth was observed. The chlorophyllous cultures grew slowly in a medium with low (0.5%) sucrose or without any carbohydrate source, suggesting photomixotrophism. A high concentration of kinetin inhibited both growth and chlorophyll synthesis. Release of lignin into the nutrient medium was observed in several experiments, especially in slow-growing cultures supplemented with sucrose. Only a few successive passages of suspensions that produced lignin could be cultured before cell death. The cultures releasing lignin may be unique for studies on synthesis and biodegradation of this very complex compound.