Somatic embryogenesis was successfully achieved in chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm.) and pin oak (Quercus palustris Muenchh.) when surface disinfested zygotic embryo explants were cultured on MS or WPM containing BA or kinetin (1.0 or 2.0 mg 1-1) plus IBA (1.0 mg 1-1). Immature embryos resulted in greater callus induction than the mature ones. Two weeks of dark, proved to be superior to 4 weeks or no dark in callus induction. Somatic embryos of pin oak distinctly showed globular, heart and cotyledonary stages.
Maturation and germination of pin oak somatic embryos was done in growth regulator free WPM by increasing levels of agar (7 - 15 g 1-1). Somatic embryos cultured at various levels of agar were then maintained in incubator under standard conditions, desiccated by air-drying or subjected to chilling temperature for 4 weeks to enhance germination of somatic embryos. Root or shoot formation was observed in some cultures, and medium with 9 g 1-1 agar induced plantlet production in 7% of the cultures.