For Beginners: Commonly used words in tissue culture (Part-1)
10 Aug 2021

For Beginners: Commonly used words in tissue culture (Part-1)

Anjali Singh, MS

As a content and community manager, I leverage my expertise in plant biotechnology, passion for tissue culture, and writing skills to create compelling articles, simplifying intricate scientific concepts, and address your inquiries. As a dedicated science communicator, I strive to spark curiosity and foster a love for science in my audience

Anjali Singh, MS
Table of Contents

What Is Tissue Culture?

Tissue culture is a tool to grow plants using a few tissues in an artificial environment. It’s an advantageous technique that is popularly being used by culturists worldwide in plant businesses.

Tissue culture helps in the rapid and massive production of mass. It is useful to protect endangered species, produce hybrid plants, haploid plants, disease-free plants without seeds, and grow plants that are challenging using conventional techniques.

In recent years, a boost in tissue culture enthusiasts has been observed worldwide. The range of culturists starts from beginners, who know little or nothing about tissue culture but are interested to try out the technique, to tissue culture experts with years of experience.

Plant cell technology is determined to educate all tissue culture enthusiasts despite their experiences in the area. With the same determination, we have written the article on some commonly used tissue culture terms in two parts. It will help beginners to understand the articles, literature, videos, and several written procedures on tissue culture.

Common Terminologies

1. Micropropagation: It’s another term for tissue culture. It’s defined as the same as tissue culture, that is, multiplication of plants under in vitro conditions.

2. Explant: It’s the piece of tissue, cell, or organ that is used to regenerate or regrow the whole plant under an artificial environment. It’s collected from the mother plant from any of its organs including leaves, stems, roots, embryos, or seeds, and placed on the culture media for the growth of complete plants.

3. Stock Plant/Mother plant: It’s the source, from which an explant or piece of tissue is collected. It should be determined as disease-free or containing high-value character before using it in tissue culture.

4. Culture: Tissues or explants growing on the growth or culture media under aseptic conditions are called cultures.

5. Culture media/Growth Media: The nutrient media, growth media, or culture media is the medium to supply nutrients to the explants. It’s required for the growth and development of plants under aseptic conditions. It also contains agar to provide a solid surface to support the proper growth of cultures.


Preference Center

You can understand it by comparing it to the soil. In the natural condition, soil fulfills major requirements of plants and supports them to stand tall. The same purpose is fulfilled by the culture media under in vitro conditions.

6. Contaminants: It refers to microorganisms, like bacterial, fungi, or endophytic microbes, that attack cultures. If improper sterilization or an unclean environment stimulates the growth of these microbes in the cultures, it will inhibit the growth and development of your cultured plants.

7. Aseptic: Anything free from microorganisms, like bacteria, viruses, fungi, mycoplasmas, or other microbes, is termed as aseptic. In tissue culture, from equipment, media, culture platforms, to culture rooms everything is maintained in a completely sterilized condition.

The aseptic condition is maintained to avoid the growth of microbes in the culture media. In many labs, certain chemicals, like plant preservative mixture, are added to culture media to prevent the microbes from attacking the cultures.

8. In vitro technique: The methods or techniques performed in completely controlled or artificial conditions, like laboratories, are called in vitro techniques.

9. Meristematic cells: A group of undifferentiated cells, residing at the shoot or root tip, and later differentiate or divide or specialize to form various parts of the plant.

10. Callus: It’s a growing mass of unorganized parenchyma cells. They are similar to non-differentiated meristematic cells. In natural plants, they help to cover the wound and heal plants. In tissue culture, it’s an intermediate stage of cultures, after which they begin developing plant organs.

11. Regeneration: The natural function or response of restoring or the formation of new organs, embryos, or whole plants from cultured explants.

12. Differentiation: It’s a transient phenomenon in which cells return back to the earlier cell state or reminiscent of stem cells from a specialized or differentiated state.

13. Redifferentiation: It’s a process in which the dedifferentiated cell starts dividing to form a plant organ or a whole plant.

14. Recalcitrant: When the explant is difficult to give rise to the plant, it is termed as recalcitrant.

15. Adventitious: The development of plant organs from an unusual origin. For example, the development of shoots and roots from callus or embryos from any source other than the zygote.

16. Totipotency: It’s the ability of cells to divide and produce other cell types.

17. Plant Plasticity: It’s a characteristic of plants cells to form one type of tissue and organs from another cell type when stimulated using chemicals under in vitro conditions.

18. Ploidy: It’s the total number of chromosomes present in the nucleus of cells.

19. Cell culture: It’s defined as the isolation of cells from plants and their subsequent growth in favorable artificial conditions.

20. Clone: When a population of cells is derived from single cells, they are termed clones. Or, plants propagated by vegetative and asexual means by repeated propagation from a single individual are termed as clones.

These terms are very useful for you to understand when you are starting out in tissue culture. It comes in handy while referring to some standard tissue culture literature and videos. More of these terms are coming in our next article, so stay tuned with our blogs. Lastly, you're welcome to write to us if you have any queries related to any tissue culture processes. We are here to help!

Happy culturing!

Source: Giphy

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