The Douglas fir is a very important tree of North America, occurring from British Columbia to Washington, Oregon, and California. Douglas-fir propagates naturally from seed. Asexual methods of propagation of proven superior genotypes have not been very successful due to poor rooting and plagiotropic growth of cuttings. Success has also been achieved with somatic embryogenesis in Douglas-fir. Clonal propagation via somatic embryogenesis is currently applied to many horticultural and forestry species and many papers has been published and patents have been granted on somatic embryo development, maturation and germination. However, plantlet production via somatic embryogenesis is still not commercialized for any conifer species. Large-scale clonal production via somatic embryogenesis of Douglas -fir has been done at KF-Bioplants India. Several hundred thousand plantlets have been shipped to Weyerhaeuser company for clonal field trials. Large-scale clonal production of Douglas-fir will be discussed in this presentation.
Pramod Kumar Gupta retired after working for 30 years a senior scientist and lead the research project on somatic embryogenesis of conifer in the division of Forest Biotechnology at Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, Washington, USA. From 1984 - 1987, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Don Durzan’s laboratory, University of California Davis, where he worked on the development of a somatic embryogenesis system, protoplast regeneration, cryopreservation, and genetic transformation with several conifer species. I received my Ph.D. on “Tissue Culture and biochemical studies in Eucalyptus” at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, India in 1982. I joined the plant tissue culture group at National Chemical laboratory, Pune in 1975. At NCL, I developed clonal propagation methods for several tree species such as Teak, Eucalyptus, and Bamboo.I have published over 100 papers in international journal and wrote several articles for many tissue cultures books. I have over 25 patents on somatic embryogenesis in conifer and also a co-editor of book “Somatic Embryogenesis in Woody Plant Vol. 1 to 7. In 1987, I was selected as an associate fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences for his original research in plant tissue culture. Recently I have received George Mendel award for his outstanding contribution in the vegetative propagation of trees from Mendel University Brno, Czech Republic. Now I have my own consulting company : Trees For The Future LLC ( www.treesforthefure.tech)