Breeding For Organic Farming : Obtaining And Evaluation Of Flax Somaclonal Families

Andra Mikelsone, Dace Grauda, Veneranda Stramkale, Isaak Rashal


Plant calli culture could be used as a source of genetic changes (somaclonal variation). There are known several flax varieties, bred on the basis of somaclonal variation, with improved resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, plant height, seed yield and other traits. This method is useful for obtaining the new initial material for flax breeding, including for intensification of breeding for organic farming. Goal of the study was to obtain plants-regenerants from the calli culture of the fibre flax variety ‘Vega 2’ and to evaluate their agronomical traits and resistance to powdery mildew. For obtaining plants-regenerants was used early elaborated protocol of somatic calli cultivation. Agronomically important traits, such as total and technical plant height, number of seed vessels, number of seeds in a seed vessel, and resistance to diseases were evaluated. Most of somaclonal families had higher total and technical plant height in comparison with the initial variety ‘Vega 2’. In the opposite, number of seed vessels and number of seeds in a seed vessel had a tendency to decrease. It was concluded that even changes in not desirable direction may be recognised as an indirect indicator of the rather high level of induced somaclonal variation, which can occurred also in traits, which were not evaluated during this experiment, therefore there is a potential to exploit flax somaclonal variation in applied breeding programs as an additional source of variability.


fibre flax; calli culture; somaclonal variation; agronomical traits

Full Text:



Lukaszewicz M., Szopa J., Krasowska A. Susceptibility of lipids from different flax cultivars to peroxidation and its lowering by added antioxidants. Food Chemistry, 2004, 88, p. 225-231.

Rashal I., Stramkale V., Conservation and use of the Latvian flax genetic resources. Proceedings of the Symposium “Bast Fibrous Plants Today and Tomorrow. Breeding, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology beyond 21th century”, 28-30 September 1998, St. Petersburg, Russia. Natural Fibres, iss. 2, 1998, p. 56-58.

Grauda D., Stramkale V., Rašals I. Evaluation of Latvian flax varieties and hybrids. Proceedings in Agronomy, 2004, No. 6, p. 159-165.

Karp A. On the current understanding of somaclonal variation. In: Oxford Surveys of Plant Molecular and Cell Biology. B.J. Miflin (eds.), 1991, 7, p. 1-58

Vázquez A.M. Insight into somaclonal variation. Plant Biosystems, 2001, 135, iss.1, p.57-62

Bednarek P., Orłowska R., Koebner R., Zimny J. Quantification of the tissue-culture induced variation in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). BMC Plant Biol., 2007, 7, p.10.

Ahloowalia B.S. Plant regeneration from embryo-callus culture in barley. Euphytica, 1987, 36, p. 659-665.

Choo T.M., Li J., Ho K.M., Kong D., Narisimhalu P. Somaclonal variation in Leger barley. Proceedings of the SABRAO International Symposium on the Impact of Biological Research on Agricultural Productivity, SABRAO, 1992, p. 163-174.

Karp A. Origins, causes and uses of variation in plant tissue cultures. In: Plant cell and tissue culture. I.K.Vasil, T.A Thorpe (eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1994, p. 139-151.

Bregitzer P., Poulson M. Agronomic performance of barley lines derived from tissue culture. Crop Sci., 1995,35, p.1144-1148.

Larkin, P.J.; Scowcroft, W.R. Somaclonal variation – a novel source of variability from cell culture for plant improvement. Theoretical Applied Genetics, 1981, 60, p. 197-214.

Leike, H. Methoden der Gewebekultur zur Beschleunigung des Zuchtfortschrittes. Tagungoberichts Akademie Landwirtschaft – Wissenschaft., 1985, 237, S. 19-33.

Poliakov, А.V. Biotechnology in flax Breeding. Tver, Russia, Format 2000, p. 84 (in Russian).

Grauda D., Mikelsone A., Rashals I. Use of antioxidants for enhancing flax multiplication rate in tissue culture, 2009, Acta Horticulture, Nr. 812, pp. 147-151.



  • There are currently no refbacks.