I

Acclimatization for 30 days in greenhouse

Transplant ready for field

Transplant ready for field

Figure 16. Schematic diagram showing the plant production protocol, both conventional (PM) and the photoautotrophic system (PA) of coffee through somatic embryogenesis.

iii) Application of growth regulators and other organic substances such as amino acids and vitamins to the culture medium can be eliminated or minimised. Use of some growth regulators is sometimes crucial in the conventional culture system to germinate somatic embryos.

iv) Problems related to synthetic seeds containing sugar and other organic nutrients can be overcome by using photosynthetically active somatic embryos.

v) Considerable effort has been devoted to full automation of somatic embryo development and micropropagation (Cervelli and Senaratna, 1995). The ability of somatic embryos to grow photoautotrophically will be beneficial for automation, robotization and computerization and contributes to reduction of production cost.

vi) Asepsis in the culture vessel for embryo-to-plantlet conversion may not be required if pathogen free status in the culture vessel is certified.

vii) Photoautotrophic culture of somatic embryos will contribute in reducing production costs specifically by reducing the labor input, and improving the plant quality. In the commercial micropropagation, labor usually accounts for about 70% of the total in vitro and ex vitro costs (Aitken-Christie et al., 1991).

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