Dying with Style: Death Decision in Plant Embryogenesis

  • Shuanglong Huang
  • Mohamed M. Mira
  • Claudio Stasolla
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1359)


Embryogenesis is a fascinating event during the plant life cycle encompassing several steps whereby the zygote develops into a fully developed embryo which, in angiosperms, is composed of an axis separating the apical meristems, and two cotyledons. Recapitulation of embryogenesis can also occur in vitro through somatic embryogenesis, where somatic cells are induced to form embryos, and androgenesis, in which embryos originate from immature male gametophytes. Besides cell division and differentiation, embryo patterning in vivo and in vitro requires the dismantling and selective elimination of cells and tissues via programmed cell death (PCD). While the manifestation of the death program has long been acknowledged in vivo, especially in relation to the elimination of the suspensor during the late phases of embryo development, PCD during in vitro embryogenesis has only been described in more recent years. Independent studies using the gymnosperm Norway spruce and the angiosperm maize have shown that the death program is crucial for the proper formation and further development of immature somatic embryos. This chapter summarizes the recent advances in the field of PCD during embryogenesis and proposes novel regulatory mechanisms activating the death program in plants.

Key words

Androgenesis Embryogenesis Hemoglobins Programmed cell death Somatic embryogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuanglong Huang
    • 1
  • Mohamed M. Mira
    • 2
  • Claudio Stasolla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

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