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  Section: Biotechnology Methods » Tissue Culture Techniques
 
 
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What is Plant Tissue Culture?

 
     
 
Content
Tissue Culture Techniques
  Tissue Culture Methods
  Plant Tissue Culture
  Plant Tissue Culture (Cont.)
  Many Dimensions of Plant Tissue Culture Research
  What is Plant Tissue Culture?
  Uses of Plant Tissue Culture
  Plant Tissue Culture demonstration by Using Somaclonal Variation to Select for Disease Resistance
  Demonstration of Tissue Culture for Teaching
  Preparation of Plant Tissue Culture Media
  Plant Tissue Culture Media
  Preparation of Protoplasts
  Protoplast Isolation, Culture, and Fusion
  Agrobacterium Culture and Agrobacterium — Mediated transformation
  Isolation of Chloroplasts from Spinach Leaves
  Preparation of Plant DNA using
  Suspension Culture and Production of Secondary Metabolites
  Protocols for Plant Tissue Culture
  Sterile Methods in Plant Tissue Culture
  Media for Plant Tissue Culture
  Safety in Plant Tissue Culture
  Preparation of Media for Animal Cell Culture
  Aseptic Technique
  Culture and Maintenance of Cell Lines
  Trypsinizing and Subculturing Cells from a Monolayer
  Cellular Biology Techniques
  In Vitro Methods
  Human Cell Culture Methods

Plant tissue culture, the growth of plant cells outside an intact plant, is a technique essential in many areas of the plant sciences. Cultures of individual or groups of plant cells, and whole organs, contribute to understanding both fundamental and applied science.

It relies on maintaining plant cells in aseptic conditions on a suitable nutrient medium. The culture can be sustained as a mass of undifferentiated cells for an extended period of time, or regenerated into whole plants.

Designing a strategy to culture cells from a plant for the first time can still seem like a matter of trial and error, and luck. However, the commercial production of valuable horticulture crops by micropropagation, which relies on tissue culture, shows that it exists in the routine, as well as experimental world. Plant cells can be grown in isolation from intact plants in tissue culture systems. The cells have the characteristics of callus cells, rather than other plant cell types. These are the cells that appear on cut surfaces when a plant is wounded, and which gradually cover and seal the damaged area.

Pieces of plant tissue will slowly divide and grow into a colorless mass of cells if they are kept in special conditions. These are:
  • initiated from the most appropriate plant tissue for the particular plant variety
  • the presence of a high concentration of auxin and cytokinin growth regulators in the growth media
  • a growth medium containing organic and inorganic compounds to sustain the cells
  • aseptic conditions during culture to exclude competition from microorganisms.
The plant cells can grow on a solid surface as friable, pale-brown lumps (called callus), or as individual or small clusters of cells in a liquid medium called a suspension culture. These cells can be maintained indefinitely, provided they are subcultured regularly into fresh growth medium.

Tissue culture cells generally lack the distinctive features of most plant cells. They have a small vacuole, lack chloroplasts and photosynthetic pathways, and the structural or chemical features that distinguish so many cell types within the intact plant are absent. They are most similar to the undifferentiated cells found in meristematic regions that become fated to develop into each cell type as the plant grows. Tissue culture cells can also be induced to redifferentiate into whole plants by alterations to the growth media.

Plant tissue cultures can be initiated from almost any part of a plant. The physiological state of the plant does have an influence on its response to attempts to initiate tissue culture. The parent plant must be healthy and free from obvious signs of disease or decay. The source, termed explant, may be dictated by the reason for carrying out the tissue culture. Younger tissue contains a higher proportion of actively dividing cells and is more responsive to a callusinitiation program. The plants themselves must be actively growing, and not about to enter a period of dormancy.

The exact conditions required to initiate and sustain plant cells in culture, or to regenerate intact plants from cultured cells, are different for each plant species. Each variety of a species will often have a particular set of cultural requirements. Despite all the knowledge that has been obtained about plant tissue culture during the twentieth century, these conditions have to be identified for each variety through experimentation.
 
     
 
 
     




     
 
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