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Research article2001Peer reviewed

Critical Factors Affecting Ex Vitro Performance of Somatic Embryo Plants of Picea abies

Hogberg, KA; Bozhkov, PV; Gronroos, R; Von Arnold, S


The potential to use somatic embryos for large-scale propagation of elite genotypes, for integration into breeding programmes and for connecting breeding and mass propagation, is receiving much attention. However, before the methods are applied it is important that the plants regenerated via somatic embryogenesis grow as expected, i.e. as seedlings or cuttings. Growth of somatic embryo plants is under a cumulative influence of a number of treatments given during the in vitro phase and during the cx vitro establishment phase. The aim of this study was to identify treatments with a negative influence on the subsequent growth of somatic embryo plants of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.). Based on the results, the time of contact with abscisic acid during somatic embryo maturation and the length of continuous light treatment (CLT) during the first growth period strongly affect the height growth during two successive growth periods. In both cases longer treatments exerted negative effects. Based on these results a new method was set up, which includes: (1) prematuration treatment or the suspension culture in a growth regulator-free medium, by which the maturation step is synchronized and contracted. and (2) a two-phase germination treatment, first on a solidified medium and then in a liquid medium. This treatment avoids extended CLT during the first growth period. Another advantage of the two-phase germination treatment is a better root-system development. Somatic embryo plants produced according to this method can be transferred directly from in vitro conditions to the greenhouse.


abscisic acid; continuous light treatment; growth period; lateral roots; Norway spruce; polyethylene glycol

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2001, Volume: 16, number: 4, pages: 295-304

      SLU Authors

    • Bozhkov, Peter

      • Department of Forest Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Von Arnold, Sara

        • Department of Forest Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)