The carrot (Daucus carota L.) EP2 gene encodes a Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP) which is expressed during protoderm formation in developing embryos. To develop a vital reporter system for gene expression during somatic embryo development a 1.1 kB fragment of the Arabidopsis thaliana LTP1 promoter was fused to the firefly luciferase (LUC) coding sequence. The AtLTP1 luciferase expression pattern in transformed carrot suspension cultures was identical to the expression pattern of the endogenous carrot EP2 gene. Cell tracking experiments revealed that all somatic embryos were derived from AtLTP1 luciferase expressing cell clusters. However, not all cell clusters that expressed the AtLTP1 luciferase reporter gene developed into a somatic embryo, suggesting that initiation of an embryogenic pathway in tissue culture does not always lead to development of a somatic embryo.