The effect of ZnSO4 concentration on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) microspore embryogenesis was investigated using cultivars of different androgenetic response. Concentrations from 0 (control) to 600 μM in the stress pre-treatment medium alone or in combination with 30 (control) to 600 μM in the embryo induction medium were assayed in anther culture. Incorporation of Zn2+ in the pre-treatment medium itself did not affect microspore embryogenesis. The optimum concentration in the stress pre-treatment and induction media was 180 μM for cultivars (cvs.) Igri and Reinette, and 90 μM for cv. Hop. A significant increase of 30 and 300% in cv. Igri and Reinette, respectively, were produced with 180 μM ZnSO4 in both the number of embryos and green plants. In order to confirm the effect of Zn2+ on microspore embryogenesis this micronutrient was incorporated in the induction medium of isolated microspore cultures of cv. Igri. Concentrations of 90–300 μM ZnSO4 resulted in an increase of 40–53% in the number of embryos and green plants. All these results indicate that the beneficial effect of Zn2+ is exerted mainly during the culture phase, increasing the number of embryos, leading to an increased number of green plants, but it had no effect on percentage of regeneration or green plants.