Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1093–1101 | Cite as

Genetic control of somatic embryogenesis induction in Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

  • G. Pinto
  • Y. -S. Park
  • L. Neves
  • C. Araújo
  • C. Santos
Genetics and Genomics


A reproducible protocol for somatic embryogenesis (SE) induction in Eucalyptus globulus from mature zygotic embryos is available since 2002. However, for the use of SE in tree breeding programs, the frequency of SE initiation needs to be improved and controlled, and this was investigated in 13 open-pollinated (OP) families over three consecutive years. A diallel mating design with five parent trees was used to study genetic control of SE induction. Results showed that SE induction varies across E. globulus families and over the years of seed production tested. Somatic embryogenesis was initiated on explants from 84% of the OP families tested in 2002 and 100% of the families tested in 2003 and 2004. The year 2003 gave best results for percentage of induction and total number of somatic embryos produced. Results concerning genetic control showed that SE induction is under the control of additive genetic effects, as 22.0% of variation in SE initiation was due to general combining ability (GCA) effect, whereas 6.4% was due to maternal effects. Neither specific combining ability (SCA) nor reciprocal effects were significant.


Control pollination Eucalyptus globulus Genetic control Primary somatic embryos Somatic embryogenesis 





General combining ability




Murashige and Skoog medium


MS medium without growth regulators


Multivarietal forestry


α-Naphthalene acetic acid






Specific combining ability


Somatic embryogenesis



The authors thank Celbi for providing the material used in this study and for supporting part of the project. Thanks are also due to Armando Costa for technical assistance. The authors gratefully acknowledge Atlantic Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), in particular Jan Bonga and Ian MacEacheron for helpful suggestions. FCT supported the fellowship of Glória Pinto (FCT/SFRH/BPD/26434/2006) and her training period in Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Pinto
    • 1
  • Y. -S. Park
    • 2
  • L. Neves
    • 3
  • C. Araújo
    • 3
  • C. Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biotechnology and Cytomics, CESAM and Department of BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Canadian Forestry Service–Canadian Wood Fibre CentreNatural Resources CanadaFrederictonCanada
  3. 3.Silvicaima SAConstância Sul, ConstânciaPortugal

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