Tissue Culture Vs Conventional Techniques of Growing Plants
3 Jun 2022

Tissue Culture Vs Conventional Techniques of Growing Plants

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

Many of you who hear about the tissue culture technique, ask, how does the technique going to be beneficial for them? Should they follow the traditional method or tissue culture technique to propagate their desired plants? How do both of them differ from each other?


The majority of us are aware of the traditional ways of growing plants, that is via using seeds or plant cuttings.

But, with the advancements of plants propagation techniques have improved and many other ways are added to the list.

Different plant propagation techniques are designed to serve different purposes, including uniform crops, hybrid crops, disease-resistant crops, or increased yield or productivity.

Among all, tissue culture of the plants is the most advanced approach to growing plants. In this technique, only a small tissue of a plant can be used to grow the whole plant. It’s a very effective technique when it comes to growing plants on a commercial scale or getting rid of plant diseases.

However, as much value as the method offers, there are also some limitations to the same.

Many of us who hear about the tissue culture technique, ask, how does the technique going to be beneficial for them? Should they follow the traditional method or tissue culture technique to propagate their desired plants? How do both of them differ from each other?

Therefore, to erase your confusion and make your decision-making for the plant propagation technique easier, we have curated this article!

At the end of the article, you will answer all the aforementioned questions and you’ll learn which one should you choose to propagate your plants.

Conventional Technique

Conventional techniques, also known as traditional techniques, are in practice for about 8000-10000 years. They can be categorized into sexual or asexual approaches. The sexual method includes growing plants using seeds.

Many farmers used to cross the pollen and stigma from two different plant species to create hybrid plants with chosen characteristics.

The asexual approach to plants propagation includes techniques like:

  • Cutting: Here, leaf, stem, or root cuttings of plants are planted again to regenerate into whole new plants.
  • Layering: In this approach, the bent branch of the plant is lowered and covered with soil for rooting, which leads to the formation of a new plant.
  • Division: The plants are divided and propagated on the prepared lands.
  • Grafting: A twig (upper portion) from one plant is cut and joined to another plant's stem (with lower portion) to form a complete plant with two characteristics.
  • Budding: In this method, a bud is inserted into the cut made into the plant’s stem. Later, they unite and grow into a new plant.

Advantages of Conventional Techniques

Growing plants using conventional plants has many benefits. Some of which are:

  • The technique can be used by any person easily.
  • It’s a low-cost method.
  • It doesn’t require an expert to help teach and perform the procedures.
  • No need for acclimating plants as plants are grown in natural conditions.
  • Best if you are working with plants at a low scale.
  • Only require a field, a suitable natural environment, water, manure & fertilizers, and a plant source to multiply plants.

Disadvantages of Conventional Techniques

Although there are advantages of the conventional approach, there are also some limitations associated with it, such as:

  • Plants will be prone to diseases.
  • The yield will be compromised if plants are grown on a commercial scale.
  • Takes a long time for the plants to develop.
  • Growers have to wait for the perfect season for the plants to grow.
  • Any change in climatic conditions or natural disasters and temperature fluctuations can ruin crop cultivation.
  • Labor intensive process.
  • A procedure like cuttings and growing through seeds, won’t help much to recover the endangered plant species.

Tissue Culture Technique

Tissue culture is an in vitro plant propagation technique. In this method, explants (plant tissues or plant parts of around 1-2 cm) are cultured in an artificially controlled environment.

Tissue culture is of different types, each serving different purposes:

  • Meristem culture: In this method, the meristem of the plants are cultured in an artificial condition. It’s preferable for disease elimination cases.
  • Organ culture: In this method, any organ of the plants, including stem, root, or leaves, are cultured in an artificial condition. It’s used to preserve the structure and functions of the desired plant.
  • Callus culture: Callus is an undifferentiated mass of cells. It’s obtained when explants are cultured in a controlled artificial environment that later leads to the formation of plant organs.
  • Seed culture: Here, seeds are cultivated on an artificial medium for plant regeneration.
  • Protoplast culture: In this method, protoplasts from the plant parts are collected and cultured first for cell wall development and tissue differentiation, which is again followed by plant regeneration.
  • Embryo culture: This approach utilized embryos of the plants that are sterilized and cultured on suitable culture media for plant development.

Advantages of Tissue Culture Technique Techniques

Following are some benefits of using tissue culture techniques for plant propagation:

  • The techniques can be used to obtain disease-free plants.
  • It’s used for the mass production of plants or growing plants for commercial purposes.
  • It can be easily used to produce hybrid plants, especially achieving a hybrid from the interspecific and intergeneric hybridization processes.
  • It’s helpful in embryo rescue when a cross between two incompatible species leads to embryo abortion.
  • It’s an effective technique for the conservation of endangered plant species.
  • Plants can also be grown without plants in a suitable season.
  • Plants that are difficult to grow using a conventional approach can be easily cultivated using this technique.
  • It can be used to produce plants on a large scale in a short time, compared to the conventional approach.
  • It’s an effective technique to increase the plants’ yield.

Disadvantages of Tissue Culture Technique Techniques

Though the tissue culture technique offers many benefits, it also has certain limitations, which include:

  • Doing tissue culture requires some basic education and practice before getting started working with it.
  • It’s an expensive approach.
  • You need a whole lab setup, with tools and equipment, and greenhouse space to carry out tissue culture of plants.
  • It requires strict aseptic conditions, otherwise, contamination can ruin all your cultured plants, thus your hard work and money invested in them.
  • Plants need proper acclimation. If it’s not done properly, the plants will die soon enough.
  • Continuous observation to check the need of the media and plants’ health is necessary.


There are many advantages and disadvantages of doing tissue culture or using conventional approaches for plant propagation.

Thus, before choosing any of these techniques ask:

  • What’s your purpose?
  • At what scale do you want to grow plants?
  • What’s your budget?
  • How much space do you have?
  • What facilities can you arrange?
  • At what time do you need your plants?

Answering these questions will help you to choose the right technique for you. Also, remember that tissue culture requires some basic education and practice in the area. Thus, if you choose the technique, look for sources where you can learn them easily. One such platform is our youtube channel, which is specially curated for beginners like you! Also, we have many articles—like this one you’re reading—to help you in your journey of tissue culture.

How Plant Cell Technology Is Helping Culturists Worldwide In Their Tissue Culture Application?

Plant Cell Technology is helping tissue culturists around the world by providing unique and world-class products and services that smoothen their process. It has MS media, agar, gellan gum, Plant Preservative Mixture (PPM), culture vessels, Biocoupler (TM), and masks in its store to facilitate your processes.

And, that’s not it! Plant Cell Technology also offers consultation services to culturists of all sizes that help to get instant solutions to your tissue culture problems.

So, visit www.plantcelltechnology.com today and find out more about our product and services and how they help you to excel in your tissue culture processes.

Happy Culturing!!

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