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Biotechnology Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 309731, 7 pages
Research Article

Somatic Embryogenesis and Massive Shoot Regeneration from Immature Embryo Explants of Tef

1Plant Reproductive Biology, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben, Corrensstraße 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
2Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) Holetta, P.O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Received 12 May 2011; Revised 7 August 2011; Accepted 8 August 2011

Academic Editor: Shengwu Ma

Copyright © 2011 Likyelesh Gugsa and Jochen Kumlehn. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tef (Eragrostis tef) provides a major source of human nutrition in the Horn of Africa, but biotechnology has had little impact on its improvement to date. Here, we report the elaboration of an in vitro regeneration protocol, based on the use of immature zygotic embryos as explant. Explant size was an important determinant of in vitro regeneration efficiency, as was the formulation of the culture medium. Optimal results were obtained by culturing 0.2–0.35 mm embryo explants on a medium containing KBP minerals, 9.2–13.8 μM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 6 mM glutamine, and 0.5% Phytagel. Although this protocol was effective for both the improved cultivar “DZ-01-196” and the landrace “Fesho”, the former produced consistently more embryogenic tissue and a higher number of regenerants. An average of more than 2,800 shoots could be obtained from each “DZ-01-196” explant after 12 weeks of in vitro culture. These shoots readily formed roots, and plantlets transferred to soil were able to develop into morphologically normal, fertile plants. This regeneration and multiplication system should allow for the application of a range of biotechnological methods to tef.