Araucaria angustifolia is a native conifer species of Brazil. In function of its intensive exploitation, the species occupies only 2% of its natural vegetation. In this system, biotechnology techniques, like somatic embryogenesis, although restricted to early stages of somatic embryo development, may be integrated into breeding and conservation programs. The similarity between zygotic and somatic embryogenesis has allowed comparative studies that provide a better understanding of developmental processes and their optimization for application as biotechnological technique. Polyamine metabolism, specifically putrescine, spermidine and spermine, has demonstrated as fundamental for the comprehension and evolution of zygotic and somatic embryogenesis. However, the biosynthesis and catabolism pathway for this substances are unknown in conifers. Thus, the aim of this project is the study of polyamine metabolism during zygotic and somatic embryogenesis of A. angustifolia. For this, it will be carried out studies of enzymatic activity and gene expression of two enzymes related to polyamine biosynthesis (arginine decarboxylase and ornithine decarboxylase) during zygotic and somatic embryo development. In addition, amino acids levels will be evaluated and their presence will be correlated with polyamine concentration in zygotic and somatic embryos. Results will allow a better comprehension of polyamine metabolism in A. angustifolia, during process involving embryo formation as well as it will provide essential information for the establishment of efficient protocols for somatic embryogenesis in conifers.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: