Density changes associated with developing zygotic embryos of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and somatic embryos of celery (Apium graveolens L.) were determined using sucrose gradients. Continuous sucrose gradients were used to evaluate relative density of loblolly pine embryos from July 25, when embryos could be microscopically observed, to November 7, 1988. Embryos density declined during development with a maximum (51% sucrose equivalent or 1.2331 g/ml) at first sampling and then remain relatively constant (10% sucrose equivalent or 1.0306 g/ml) after day 49. Density changes were inversely related to embryo length.
Celery somatic embryos, cultured for 6, 8, 10, or 12 days were separated with sucrose solutions varying from 9 to 16% in 1% intervals. Embryos were classified as overmature (expanded cotyledons), mature (torpedo), and immature (globular). The number of low density embryos increased from 6 to 12 days. The highest conversion to normal seedlings after desiccation for 48 hr at 90% relative humidity was obtained with overmature and mature embryos, but some immature somatic embryos also survived. Maximum conversion was obtained from embryos with density equivalent of 12% to 14% sucrose (1.0448 g/ml to 1.0531 g/ml) at days 10 and 12.