chapter  17
25 Pages

Plant Tissue and Cell Culture

Contents Success in plant molecular biology and biotechnology is largely dependent on in vitro culture of plant cells and tissues.1-7,9,10 Obtaining transgenic plants that contain foreign genes has been extensively practiced by using plant tissue culture techniques, since it offers an opportunity to scrutinize the in vivo function of particular gene products and to develop new cultivars having novel traits. Numbers of transgenic crops, including herbicide-resistant soybean and Bt-corn, are currently grown in the field for commercial purposes. Potential use of plant cells cultured in vitro is also extensively examined in terms of producing commercially valuable products. For the last decade, there has been a large increase in the numbers of plant species successfully cultured, either as cell suspensions or as hairy roots, for the production of secondary metabolites. There are also diverse examples of plant tissue and cell cultures that are used in biotechnology and crop breeding for disease resistance, salt tolerance, and herbicide resistance. This chapter provides several examples of the establishment of photosynthetic cell cultures and the production of secondary metabolites from cultured plant cells.