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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;427:71-6. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-273-1_5.

In vitro culture of Arabidopsis embryos.

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ZMBP Developmental Genetics, University of Tübingen, Germany.


Embryogenesis of Arabidopsis thaliana follows a nearly invariant cell division pattern and provides an ideal system for studies of early plant development. However, experimental manipulation with embryogenesis is difficult, as the embryo develops deeply inside maternal tissues. Here, we present a method to culture zygotic Arabidopsis embryos in vitro. It enables culturing for prolonged periods of time from the first developmental stages on. The technique omits excision of the embryo by culturing the entire ovule, which facilitates the manual procedure. It allows pharmacological manipulation of embryo development and does not interfere with standard techniques for localizing gene expression and protein localization in the cultivated embryos.

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