A global DNA methylation and proteomics approach was used to investigate somatic embryo maturation in hybrid larch. Each developmental step during somatic embryogenesis was associated with a distinct and significantly different global DNA methylation level: from 45.8% mC for undifferentiated somatic embryos (1-week proliferation) to 61.5% mC for immature somatic embryos (1-week maturation), while maturation was associated with a decrease in DNA methylation to 53.4% for mature cotyledonary somatic embryos (8-weeks maturation). The presence of 5-azacytidine (hypo-methylating agent) or hydroxyurea (hyper-methylating agent) in the maturation medium altered the global DNA methylation status of the embryogenic cultures, and significantly reduced both their relative growth rate and embryogenic potential, suggesting an important role for DNA methylation in embryogenesis. Maturation was also assessed by examining changes in the total protein profile. Storage proteins, identified as legumin- and vicilin-like, appeared at the precotyledonary stage. In the proteomic study, total soluble proteins were extracted from embryos after 1 and 8 weeks of maturation, and separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. There were 147 spots which showed significant differences between the stages of maturation; they were found to be involved mainly in primary metabolism and the stabilization of the resulting metabolites. This indicated that the somatic embryo was still metabolically active at 8 weeks of maturation. This is the first report of analyses of global DNA methylation (including the effects of hyper- and hypo-treatments) and proteome during somatic embryogenesis in hybrid larch, and thus provides novel insights into maturation of conifer somatic embryos.