A Comparison of In Vitro and In Vivo Asexual Embryogenesis

Melanie Hand, S.C. de Vries, Anna Koltunow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In plants, embryogenesis generally occurs through the sexual process of double fertilization, which involves a haploid sperm cell fusing with a haploid egg cell to ultimately give rise to a diploid embryo. Embryogenesis can also occur asexually in the absence of fertilization, both in vitro and in vivo. Somatic or gametic cells are able to differentiate into embryos in vitro following the application of plant growth regulators or stress treatments. Asexual embryogenesis also occurs naturally in some plant species in vivo, from either ovule cells as part of a process defined as apomixis, or from somatic leaf tissue in other species. In both in vitro and in vivo asexual embryogenesis, the embryo precursor cells must attain an embryogenic fate without the act of fertilization. This review compares the processes of in vitro and in vivo asexual embryogenesis including what is known regarding the genetic and epigenetic regulation of each process, and considers how the precursor cells are able to change fate and adopt an embryogenic pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn Vitro Embryogenesis in Higher Plants
EditorsMaria Antonietta Germanà, Maurizio Lambardi
PublisherHumana Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781493930616
ISBN (Print)9781493930609
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Adventitious embryony
  • Apomixis
  • Cell fate
  • Gametic embryogenesis
  • Kalanchoë
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Somatic embryo genesis


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