Zygotic Embryogenesis in Flowering Plants

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2288:73-88. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1335-1_4.


In the context of plant regeneration, in vitro systems to produce embryos are frequently used. In many of these protocols, nonzygotic embryos are initiated that will produce shoot-like structures but may lack a primary root. By increasing the auxin-to-cytokinin ratio in the growth medium, roots are then regenerated in a second step. Therefore, in vitro systems might not or only partially execute a similar developmental program as employed during zygotic embryogenesis. There are, however, in vitro systems that can remarkably mimic zygotic embryogenesis such as Brassica microspore-derived embryos. In this case, the patterning process of these haploid embryos closely follows zygotic embryogenesis and all fundamental tissue types are generated in a rather similar manner. In this review, we discuss the most fundamental molecular events during early zygotic embryogenesis and hope that this brief summary can serve as a reference for studying and developing in vitro embryogenesis systems in the context of doubled haploid production.

Keywords: Axis formation; Pattern formation; Radial patterning; Root formation; Shoot apical meristem; Zygote polarization; Zygotic embryogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Body Patterning / physiology
  • Brassicaceae / embryology
  • Brassicaceae / genetics
  • Brassicaceae / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Magnoliopsida / embryology*
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics
  • Magnoliopsida / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Biology / methods
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / growth & development
  • Plant Shoots / physiology
  • Regeneration / genetics
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Stem Cell Niche / genetics
  • Stem Cell Niche / physiology
  • Zygote


  • Indoleacetic Acids