Transition of somatic plant cells to an embryogenic state

Attila Fehér, Taras P. Pasternak, Dénes Dudits

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

465 Citations (Scopus)


Under appropriate in vivo or in vitro conditions, certain somatic plant cells have the capability to initiate embryogenic development (somatic embryogenesis). Somatic embryogenesis provides an unique experimental model to understand the molecular and cellular bases of developmental plasticity in plants. In the last few years, the application of modern experimental techniques, as well as the characterization of Arabidopsis embryogenesis mutants, have resulted in the accumulation of novel data about the acquisition of embryogenic capabilities by somatic plant cells. In this review, we summarize relevant experimental observations that can contribute to the description and definition of a transitional state of somatic cells induced to form totipotent, embryogenic cells. During this somatic-to-embryogenic transition, cells have to dedifferentiate, activate their cell division cycle and reorganize their physiology, metabolism and gene expression patterns. The roles of stress, endogenous growth regulators and chromatin remodelling in the coordinated reorganization of the cellular state are especially emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-228
Number of pages28
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Arabinogalactan proteins
  • Ca
  • Cell division
  • Cell polarity
  • Chromatin
  • Differential screening
  • Protein turnover
  • Somatic embryogenesis
  • Stress
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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