Mutagenic effects of sodium azide on pineapple micropropagant growth and biochemical profile within temporary immersion bioreactors


Sodium azide (NaN3) is widely used to induce mutagenesis within in vitro plant systems. However, since this mutagenesis is undirected, its unintended effects demand characterization. This study investigated the mutagenic effects of sodium azide (0-0.45 mM) on selected growth (shoot multiplication rate and shoot cluster fresh weight) and biochemical (aldehydes, chlorophylls, carotenoids and phenolics) parameters in pineapple micropropagants within temporary immersion bioreactors (TIBs). The content of soluble phenolics in the culture medium was also evaluated. Irrespective of the concentration NaN3 decreased shoot multiplication rate (by 87% relative to the control at 0.45 mM) and fresh weight (by 66% relative to the control at 0.45 mM). Levels of chlorophyll a and b, and soluble phenolics in the culture medium were also negatively correlated with NaN3 concentration. Interestingly, NaN3 application increased shoot carotenoid and soluble phenolic levels but had no significant effect on a range of established plant stress biomarkers: cell wall-linked phenolic levels, malondialdehyde and other aldehydes. Given that 0.19 mM NaN3 decreased shoot multiplication rate by 50% and resulted in propagants that displayed no morphologically abnormalities, increased levels of photoprotective pigments (relative to the control) and no significant increase in lipid peroxidation products, the mutagen can be used at this concentration to induce pineapple mutagenesis in TIB based studies aimed at producing agriculturally-useful mutants.