Tissue Culture For Horticulture Crops: Advancements and Limitations
6 Jul 2022

Tissue Culture For Horticulture Crops: Advancements and Limitations

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

With the rapid global population growth, the total production of fruits, vegetables, and ornamental species has not been able to fulfill the growing demand. This can be achieved using the tissue culture technique of propagation. However, the high cost associated with the process has depreciated and presented its utilization for wider applications in the marketplace.


With the rapid global population growth, the total production of fruits, vegetables, and ornamental species has not been able to fulfill the growing demand. This can be achieved using the tissue culture technique of propagation. However, the high cost associated with the process has depreciated and presented its utilization for wider applications in the marketplace.

Tissue culture has been widely used as a tool to improve plant characteristics and their development. However, the technique also has immense potential to clone a variety of horticulture plants in massive numbers.

This article presents to you a brief review of the paper “Tissue culture as a plant production technique for horticultural crops” by Akin-Idowu, P. E, Ibitoye, D. O., and Ademoyegun, O. T.”

It’s mainly focused on talking about the limitations of tissue culture for its usage in developing countries to meet increasing demand. Furthermore, it informs about the current development and improvement scope in the area. So, let’s have a look at what they are.

Brief Intro to Micropropagation

Micropropagation is a technique used to propagate plants in a controlled environment using cells, tissues, or different parts of the plants, such as lead, lateral bud, shoot tip, stem, and root tissue.

Over time the technique has been improved and developed to cover a vast application of growing plants. Now, it’s not only limited to improving or mass cloning plants. Here’s a list of advancements in the tissue culture field:

  • Virus elimination
  • Axillary shoot multiplication
  • Somatic embryogenesis
  • Managing ‘natural’ variation
  • Induced mutation
  • Recovery of regenerants from transformed cells
  • In vitro screening and selection
  • Production of double haploids and much more.

And much more!

Tissue culture is an efficient technique using which forestry, plantation, and other difficult-to-root plants can be clones on a large scale. However, the cost involved in the process limits its potential.

Micropropagation Advantages

  • Genetically uniform production of plants having desirable characteristics or features.
  • Production of plants in the absence of seeds or pollinators assisting in plant reproduction.
  • Transportation of plants with reduced chances of transmitting diseases and pathogens.
  • Regeneration of whole plants only by using a few cells.
  • Growing plants that have lower survival chances when produced using conventional approaches.
  • Produce clean stock of horticulture plants not affected by any pests or pathogens.

Micropropagation Applications

  • Screen plant cells for advantageous characters, such as herbicide resistance/tolerance.
  • Cross-distantly related species using the protoplast fusion technique.
  • Achieve homozygous lines of plants by producing doubled monoploid plants from haploid cultures.
  • Conserve plant species, especially those having recalcitrant seeds or that do not produce seeds at all. It includes a diversity of the members of medicinal plants.
  • Rescue embryos resulted from the incompatible crosses of interspecific and intergeneric plant species.
  • Large-scale production of plants in liquid cultures for mass production of secondary metabolites used for bio-pharmaceutical purposes.
  • Regeneration of transgenic plants.

Current Developments to Grow Horticulture Plants in Tissue Culture

Growing pants in labs following basic tissue culture steps and using traditional techniques is the usual practice. In addition to this existing system, two more systems have been developed for plant propagation:


      Bioreactors are devices that provide a suitable active environment to plant cells for their better growth and development. The invention of the system was revolutionary for tissue culturists. The technique has been used to mass-produce over 80 crops and many are in experimentation.

      The bioreactor system has several advantages over the basic tissue culture practice, such as:

      • Time and Labor-saving approach
      • Easier to scale up your plant business
      • Allow enhanced growth and multiplication of plants
      • Improved nutrient availability to plants for better development.
      • Easy handling

      Today, a spectrum of bioreactors is available suiting specific purposes. The principle systems include:

      • Spin filter Bioreactor
      • Gaseous phase bioreactor
      • Aeration-agitation bioreactor
      • Rotating drum bioreactor
      • Air-driven bioreactor

      Even after the advantages bioreactors offer to the tissue culture technique, further developments are necessary to reduce costs associated with the system and increase its potential to cover all/any commercial requirements.

        In vitro mycorrhization

          The use of microorganisms in boosting tissue culture response is an innovative approach. The technique utilized the potential of microbes benefitting crops to enhance the growth and development of plants.

          Let’s look at some examples:

          • The root endophyte Piriformospora indica promotes explant hardening.
          • Pseudomonas spp .can reduce hyperhydricity.
          • Bacillus pumilus, Alcaligenes faecalis and Pseudomonas spp. improve shoot multiplication.

          The interests of scientists in recent years have mostly been found in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF. The fungi:

          • Offer better response after post-transplantation of the plants
          • Help in better nutrient uptake
          • Provide better water relation
          • Provide better aeration to the system
          • Offer soil pH balance
          • Has effective application as bioregulators

          Despite the advantages the technique offers, there’s a requirement for an effective testing approach to unleash the potential of microbes for commercial micropropagation of plants.

          Micropropagation challenges

          The two major challenges in micropropagation of horticulture crops are:

            Somaclonal Variation

              Somaclonal variations are the genetic (that arise during mitotic events of the tissue culture processes) and epigenetic changes (variations arising from extra-nuclear DNA) that occur during in vitro propagation of plants.

              Some cultures think the variation in cultures is due to the addition of plant hormones. Thus, it can be reduced by eliminating the intermediary stage formation, such as callus or adventitious root formation.

              The variation can be easily observed when the explants are affected but the issue is more critical when the changes are not visible. This can only be studied using gene technology.

                Culture decline

                  Culture tissues start producing cytokinin after prolonged periods of continuous subculturing. Therefore, plants can grow in a medium without adding hormones.

                  However, it’s a major limitation in the commercial production of plants. Many times it results in the loss of vigor and vitality of plants. This can be overcome by growing plants for a short period in hormone-containing media and then an intervening period of hormone-free media.

                  The advancement in tissue culture technique for the mass production of horticulture crops can solve the food-shortage crisis in many developing and underdeveloped countries. The major changes in the technique include reducing the costs of the process, and labor involved, and developing a system that boosts plant performance under in vitro conditions.

                  How is Plant Cell Technology 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 plantcelltechnology.com today and learn more about our products and services and how they help you excel in your tissue culture processes.

                  Happy Culturing!!

                  Join the conversation

                  Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

                  Leave a comment

                  Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.