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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Accumulated effects of factors determining plant development from somatic embryos of Abies nordmanniana and Abies bornmuelleriana

Nielsen, Ulrik Brauener; Hansen, Camilla Buelow; Hansen, Ulrich; Johansen, Vivian Kvist; Egertsdotter, Ulrika


Despite a much later inception of somatic embryogenesis (SE) propagation protocols for gymnosperms than for angiosperm species, SE is becoming increasingly important due to its applications for commercial forestry. For many conifers, there are however still major bottlenecks in the SE plant production process limiting the use of SE for forestry operations, Christmas tree production and research projects. In the present case study, the effects on plant growth from different cultural factors applied during the SE developmental process were studied in two conifer species of high value for Christmas tree production. Seven clones of Abies nordmanniana and two clones of Abies bornmuelleriana were included in the study. Accumulated effects from cultural treatments were recorded from the start of germination of mature embryos of different quality scores through development into plants in the third growing period. Experimental factors of the cultural treatments included were: germination temperature, germination time, light conditions, survival ex vitro and traits for plant growth and vitality. The results reveal that most of the studied experimental factors influenced plant growth during the first three years however their relative importance was different. Plant survival rate at end of the nursery stage was strongly impacted by germination temperature (p<0.001), initial embryo score (p=0.007), clone (p<0.001) and to a lesser extend week of germination (p=0.017). This case-study highlights and quantifies the strong interrelation between the developmental steps of somatic embryogenesis and show the importance of considering all cultural steps when optimizing SE plant production protocols.


abies; conifer; in vitro; germination; embryo quality; nordmann fir; turkish fir

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2022, volume: 13, article number: 989484

Authors' information

Nielsen, Ulrik Brauener
University of Copenhagen
Hansen, Camilla Buelow
University of Copenhagen
Hansen, Ulrich
Hansen Skovplant
Johansen, Vivian Kvist
University of Copenhagen
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
Georgia Institute of Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science
Forest Science

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