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Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary (PASSeL) Lesson
Embryogenesis is the process of initiation and development of an embryo from a zygote (zygotic embryogenesis) or a somatic cell (somatic embryogenesis). This lesson discusses the steps in plant growth at the cellular level from the very beginning through maturity.
Embryogenesis is the process of initiation and development of an embryo from a zygote (zygotic embryogenesis) or a somatic cell (somatic embryogenesis).
Embryo development occurs through an exceptionally organized sequence of cell division, enlargement, and differentiation. Zygotic and somatic embryos share the same gross pattern of development.
[Zygotic embryo illustration]
[Somatic embryonic cell illustration]
Both types of embryos develop as passing through typical developmental stages, such as globular, scutellar, and coleoptilar stages for monocots, or globular, heart, torpedo, and cotyledonary stages for dicots and conifers. Embryo development is bipolar, having a shoot and a radicular pole at opposite ends.
[Zygotic embryo chart]
[Somatic embryo chart]