Effect of a Peat Humic Acid on Morphogenesis in Leaf Explants of Pyrus communis and Cydonia oblonga. Metabolomic Analysis at an Early Stage of Regeneration

Plant regeneration is a critical step in most in vitro breeding techniques. This paper studies the effects of a low-molecular-weight humic acid (HA) on morphogenesis from pear and quince leaf explants. Variable HA amounts [0 (control), 1, 5, 10, and 20 mg C L<sup>–1</sup>] were added to the regeneration media. A dose–response effect was observed in pear for root and shoot production; it was improved at HA 1 mg C L<sup>–1</sup> and considerably reduced at the highest amounts. HA was, instead, ineffective in quince. The <sup>1</sup>H HR-MAS NMR analyses of calli in the induction phase showed more evident metabolite (asparagine, alanine, and γ-aminobutyric acid) signals in quince than in pear. The assignment of overlapped signals in both genotypes was supported by the 2D NMR analyses. Spectroscopic characterization suggested also an enhancement of asparagine contents in morphogenic calli of pear with respect to the control and higher HA amount treatments.