Experimental Embryology

Academic year
Subject Area
Integrative Biology
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

General knowledge of genetics, plant physiology and molecular biology.

Teaching Methods

Two-week intensive course with theoretical and practical classes. During the two weeks the students will grouped (3 – 5) and will develop a practical work related with one particular subject of plant embryogenesis. The results will be discussed with the professor and colleagues and, by the end of the course students will write a report about the experiments and will present and discuss their work.

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn concept and methods used in plant embryology. The different types of embryogenesis will be analysed as well as the practical applications. By the end of the course the students must have acquired skills and knowledge which will able them to understand the mechanisms of embryo development and the ways how they can be studied.

1. Understanding capacity:

To be able to understand concepts related with embryogenesis and to relate these concepts with general plant development and practical applications in agriculture and plant biotechnology.

2. Ability to solve practical problems:To apply the concepts and methods learnt on this course to solve practical issues.

3. Communication: Be able to analyse scientific information and to transmit it in a clear and concise way either in oral or written form.

4. Self learning:To be able and autonomous in the preparation and analysis of scientific experiments. Show the capacity to interpret scientific data.

Work Placement(s)



1 Introduction

1.1 Sexual reproduction

1.2 Zygote and embryogenesis

1.3 Suspensor and endosperm

1.4 Physiological and molecular mechanisms of embryo development

1.5 Arabidopsis as a model organisms

1.6 Embryo mutants

1.7 Genes and embryogenesis

2 Non-zygotic embryogenesis

2.1 Types on non-zygotic embryogenesis

2.2 Apomixis

3. Somatic embryogenesis

3.1 Types of somatic embryogenesis

3.2 Cytological, physiological and molecular characterisation of somatic embryogenesis

3.3 Auxins and stress conditions on somatic embryogenesis induction

3.4 Maturation and germination of somatic embryos

4. Pollen embryogenesis and gynogenesis

4.1 Totipotency of microspores and pollen grains

4.2 Pollen embryogenic pathways

4.3 Haploid plants

4.4 Pollen plant production and its biotechnological applications

5. Embryo rescue and culture

5.1 Isolation and culture of zygotic embryos

5.2. In vitro fertilization

5.3 Hybrids

6. Emryogenesis and plant breeding.

Assessment Methods

Exam: 50.0%
Research work: 50.0%


Bayer M. 2021. Plant Embryogenesis - Methods and Protocols. Humana Press/Springer. New York

Hodson, M.J. & Bryant J.A., 2012. Functional Biology of Plants. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Taiz, L. & Zeiger, E., 2015. Plant Physiology (6ª ed.). Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland.


Encyclopedia Life Sciences - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/047001590X