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Somatic Embryogenesis: An Efficient Model for Early Development in Woody Plants
Somatic embryogenesis is a developmental procedure through which a plant somatic cell can dedifferentiate to a totipotent embryonic stem cell that has the ability to give rise to an embryo under appropriate conditions. This new embryo can further develop into a complete plant. In various woody plants, somatic embryogenesis plays a major role in clonal propagation and is a very commanding tool for germplasm conservation, synthetic seed production, and cryopreservation. When integrated with conventional breeding programs and molecular and cell biological techniques, somatic embryogenesis provides a valuable tool to enhance the pace of genetic improvement of various plant species. Though, somatic embryogenesis has already been extensively used in a number of woody species, propagating adult woody plants remains difficult. In this review, we focus on molecular mechanisms of somatic embryogenesis and its practical applications in economic woody plants.
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