The rapid progress made on somatic embryogenesis and its prospects for potential applications in improving woody plants prompted us to edit this book initially in three volumes, and now to add two more volumes. The editors were all convinced that such a treatise was needed and would be extremely useful to researchers and students. This Volume 4 has been divided into three sections and contains 23 chapters. Section A contains eleven chapters covering studies of embryo development and cell biology of white spruce, proliferative somatic embryogenesis in woody species, somatic embryo germination and desiccation tolerance in conifers, performance of conifer somatic seedlings, apoptosis during early somatic embryogenesis, water relation parameters in conifer embryos, image analysis of somatic embryos, somatic embryogenesis in woody legumes, cold storage and cryopreservation, and commercialization of plant somatic embryogenesis. Section B contains six chapters dealing with angiosperm woody plants, such as somatic embryogenesis in myrtaceous plants, Laurus nobilis, Simarouba glauca, Magnolia spp., Juglans cinera, and somatic embryogenesis and evaluation of variability in somatic seedlings of Quercus serrata by RAPD markers. The chapters contained in Section C are focused on somatic embryogenesis in gymnosperms, including Pinus patula, Encephalartos, Picea wilsonii, Pinus banksiana, hybrid firs, and Taxus. All the chapters have been peer-reviewed and revised accordingly to improve their quality.
'This book can be recommended for advanced readers (scientists, postgraduate students), with a basic knowledge in somatic embryogenesis in woody species. ... This book is a valuable source of both general information on somatic embryogenesis of woody plants and more definite, practical information focusing on particular genera or species, very useful for preparing lectures and planning research work.' Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 22:4 (2000)
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