Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design



Committee Chair

Todd P. West.


In vitro propagules of tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum L.) were used to evaluate the effects of alginate encapsulation and subsequent storage for synthetic seed (synseed) production. Nodal segments were encapsulated in hollow alginate beads with and without supplemental nutrients, auxin (0, 2.5 and 5 muM IBA) and fungicide (0, 50 and 100 muM Daconil 2787). Synseeds were stored for 0, 30 and 90 days at 4+/-1°C in darkness and were given a light treatment (none vs. one week at 25+/-2°C with a 16 hour photoperiod) before sowing in a greenhouse hydroponic system. There was no survival across all treatments of ex vitro sown synseeds. Gene expression profiling was conducted on nodal segments of 'Big Beef' in stored (0, 30 and 90 days) hollow alginate beads using microarrays. Lack of hybridization was attributed to RNA degradation during storage. Apical meristems of 'Big Beef' were encapsulated in hollow or solid alginate beads, with or without supplemental nutrients, and stored for 0, 15 and 30 days at 4+/-1°C. Synseeds were sown in vitro and incubated at 25+/-2°C. Hollow bead synseeds had a higher survival rate than solid bead synseeds. Supplemental nutrients also improved survival and conversion of synseeds. Storage of synseeds for 15 and 30 days resulted in significantly lower survival and conversion rates when compared to 0 days of storage.