Scanning electron microscopy of hydrated and desiccated mature somatic embryos and zygotic embryos of white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss.)
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Four scanning electron microscope techniques for preparing somatic and zygotic embryos of white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss.) were compared. Direct sputter coating without critical point drying worked well for desiccated embryos while conventional methods using chemical fixation were appropriate for hydrated somatic embryos. Low temperature scanning electron microscopy and plastic replicas provided excellent specimens of all embryos studied. Plastic replicas were used to document cotyledon formation and growth during maturation of somatic embryos. Apart from some differences in embryo size, orientation of cotyledons and surface wrinkling, the general morphology of mature somatic embryos of white spruce was very similar to zygotic embyros at a similar stage of development.
Key wordsPicea glauca Scanning electron microscope methods Somatic embyros Maturation Desiccation
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