To understand the molecular mechanism controlling in vitro plant morphogenesis, a culture system enabling induction of alternative morphogenic pathways (somatic embryogenesis, SE; shoot organogenesis, ORG) in a well defined population of somatic cells is needed. Arabidopsis is the most useful model plant for genomic studies, but a system in which SE or ORG can be induced alternatively in the same type of explant has not been proposed. Immature zygotic embryos (IZEs) of Arabidopsis provide the only explants with embryogenic potential, and have been recommended for studying mechanisms of SE induced in vitro. This study was aimed at defining culture conditions promoting induction of alternative morphogenic pathways: shoot ORG in IZE explants. The established protocol involves pretreatment of IZE explants with liquid auxin-rich callus induction (CIM) medium, followed by subculture on solid cytokinin-rich shoot induction medium (SIM). The method enables efficient shoot induction in Columbia (Col-0) and Wassilewskija (Ws), genotypes commonly used in molecular studies. During 3 weeks of culture up to 90% of Col-0 and 70% of Ws explants regenerated shoots via an indirect morphogenic pathway. We analyzed the qRT-PCR expression patterns of the LEC (LEC1, LEC2 and FUS3) genes, the key regulators of Arabidopsis embryogenesis, in the IZE explants induced to promote shoot ORG. The sharp decline of LEC expression on SIM medium confirmed that culture of Arabidopsis IZE explants enables experimental manipulation of the morphogenic response of somatic cells. A scheme illustrating various in vitro morphogenic responses of IZEs in relation to hormonal treatment is presented.
Heavy metal (As, Mn, Ni, Sn, Ti) concentrations were determined in soil and plant samples collected in different areas of the railway junction Iława Główna, Poland. Soil and plant samples were collected in four functional parts of the junction, i.e. the loading ramp, main track within the platform area, rolling stock cleaning bay and the railway siding. Four plant species occurring in relatively higher abundance were selected for heavy metals analysis, although in the loading ramp and platform areas only one species could be collected in the amount which makes chemical analysis possible. The selected species included three perennials (Daucus carota, Pastinaca sativa and Taraxacum officinale) and one annual plant (Sonchus oleraceus). The entire area of the railway junction showed elevated concentrations of heavy metals when compared to the control level. It was most pronounced for the platform area and railway siding. The concentration of arsenic, manganese and nickel in plants growing in these parts of the junction exceeded the toxic level. The highest contamination of soil and plants found in the platform area suggested advanced emission process of the analyzed metals from wheel and track abrasion. Literature review showed that the concentration of the investigated metals in soil was generally higher than that found in centers of cities and along traffic roads proving that the railway is an important linear source of soil contamination