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Milestones in the history of Plant Tissue Culture


Milestones in the history of Plant Tissue Culture 

20 Scientists name and their contribution to Plant Tissue culture

Plant Tissue Culture is an in vitro aseptic conditions of plant cells, tissues, or organs maintained growth under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium of known composition. It is a collection of various techniques that helps for the development of the plants under the artificial environment that produces the required plant quickly. In short, Plant tissue culture is the growth of organs, tissues, or cells in an artificial medium.

Applications part of Plant Tissue Culture are :

  • It is the most efficient technology for crop improvement.
  • Production of the plant by Plant Tissue culture technology has the capability to resistance to various diseases. 
  • The plants become tolerable to stress.
  • The most important application of plant tissue culture is the micropropagation of plant species. It is an important technique for the rapid production of several commercially important plants, fruit trees, and medicinal plants.
  • The outstanding contribution of plant tissue culture technology is the eradication of virus that affects the yield, quality, and vigor of the plant.
  • Plant tissue culture technology is used for the production of haploid plants. Haploids plants permit the expression of recessive genes and doubling of a desirable haploid can form a homozygous diploid in a single generation. These fertile homozygous plants are used for producing the inbred lines.
  • Another major application of plant tissue culture is embryo rescue in sexual hybrids that are used in interspecific and intergeneric crosses thereby rising rare hybrids.
  • Plant tissue culture is developed to produce artificial or synthetic seeds.
  • This technique is used for the production of protoplast culture and somatic hybridization.
  • With the help of this culture, technology reports the production of diverse secondary metabolites like anthocyanins, alkaloids, carotenoids, flavones, coumarins, saponins, terpenoids, sterols, and tannins, etc.
  • By the use of the plant tissue culture technique, we can produce transgenic plants for varietal improvement. This technique has enabled the development of genetically modified crops.
  • Techniques aimed to improve the productivity and efficiency of crop plants.
  • With help of this technique, we can grow endangered, threatened, and rare species successfully.
  • Hundreds and thousands of plants an produce in a continuous process by this technique.
  • The crop can be improved by the production of somaclonal and gametoclonal variants.

Milestones in the history o Plant Tissue Culture

Following are some of the important landmark achievement in the field of plant tissue culture

1. Gottlieb Haberlandt ( 1902)

Gottlieb Haberlandt was an Austrian botanist. He is considered the father of plant tissue culture. His idea of totipotency conceived the concept of cell culture. In 1902 he suggested that one could cultivate artificial embryos from the vegetative cells. 

Haberlandt’s hypothesis has, by now flowered into a vigorous discipline tissue culture. This broad term refers to the growth of organs, tissues, and cells in an artificial medium. He was the first to culture isolated, fully differentiated cells in a nutrient medium.

2. Erwin Smith (1907)

In 1907, Erwin Smith reported that the cause of crown gall disease of Chrysanthemum frutescens i.e. Paris Daisy caused by the bacterium named is Bacterium tumefaciens

3. Kotte& Robbin (1922)

Kotte was Haberlandt’s student. Kotte & Robbin both independently partially succeeded in culturing excised roots in an artificial inorganic medium. 

The early attempts involved the culture of maize, pea, and cotton root tips. They grew aseptically for a few weeks in nutrient media but ultimately growth ceased.

4. P.R. White (1934)

P.R. White was the first to demonstrate continuous culturing using excised root tips of tomato on a medium containing inorganic salts, 2% sucrose, and 0.01% yeast extract (YE). He was demonstrated “Potentially unlimited growth”.By his experiment, he concluded that the nutrient medium had supported the indefinite growth of the root tips. 

5. Roger Gautheret, Pierre Nobecourt & White (1939)

They reported the formation of continuous callus culture in carrot and tobacco independently of each other. They reported potentially unlimited growth of cultures derived from carrot taproot tissue that was grown incorporated in the culture medium with growth substance indole-3-acetic acid.

6.Conn (1942)

Crown gall disease reclassified by Conn in 1942, Firstly as a Phytomonas tumefaciens and then as Agrobacterium tumefaciens

7. Ball (1946)

Ball reported regeneration of complete plants of Lupinus and Tropaeolum from the cultured shoot tips. He raised whole plants of Lupinus by shoot tip culture.

8. Miller et al. (1955)

Miller discovered the first known cytokinin from DNA from herring sperm, which induces cell divisions in highly mature and differentiated tissues.

Cytokinin is a plant growth substances that help to cell division in plant root and shoots.

9. Skoog and Miller (1957)

Skoog and Miller showed the concept of hormonal regulation of root and shoot formation by changing the ratio of auxin and cytokinin. This changing ratio of cytokinin to auxin in nutrient media influences the morphogenesis of roots and shoots of the plant. 

10. Steward et al (1958)

Steward along with his co-workers demonstrated the totipotency of higher plant cells in an unambiguous term by forming somatic embryos from cultured carrot root cells.

11. Georges Morel (1960)

 Georges Morel using the technique of shoot tip culture reported the rapid production of virus-free plants in Orchids. He is the discoverer of Orchid micropropagation. 

12. Toshio Murashige and Folke K. Skoog (1962)

Murashige and Skoog invented new plant growth regulators. They devised a nutrient medium named MS Medium. This MS medium is used in the laboratories for the cultivation of plant cell culture. It is most commonly used in plant tissue culture. 

13. Guha and Maheshwari (1964)

Guha and Maheshwari demonstrated the production of haploid plants from the pollen grains of Datura innoxia. Both the scientist was famous for pollen culture, this technique was discovered by Guha and Maheshwari. 

Pollen culture is a technique of production of haploid plants by the culture of pollen grains under aseptic conditions on artificial media. 

14 . Eriksson & Johansson ( 1969)

They Successfully isolated protoplasts from suspension cultures of Haplopappus gracilis

15. Kerr ( 1969)

Kerr concluded that this was “ the first unequivocal evidence for the transfer of virulence from a plant pathogenic to a saprophytic species of a bacterium” and suggested that this may have resulted from DNA transfer. 

16. Power et al (1970)

Power et al.repoeted the fusion of plant protoplasts and demonstrated the protoplast form. 

 17. Carlson et al (1972)

Carlson et al in 1972 reported the first somatic hybrid between Nicotiana glauca and N. langsdorfii by using their protoplasts. They reported the first interspecific plant hybrid through protoplast fusion. 

18.Larkin and Scowcroft (1981)

 Plant cell culture itself has a capability to generates genetic variability i.e. known as Somaclonal variation. Larkin and Scowcroft first to introduce the term somaclonal variation in 1981. 

19. Pelletier et al (1983)

Pelletier et al in 1983 generated rapeseed plants by fusion between protoplasts bearing cytoplasmic of different genera by intergeneric cytoplasmic hybridization in Cruciferae by protoplast fusion. 

20. Klien et al (1987)

Klien et al in 1987 reported that nucleic acid can be delivered into plant cells by using high -velocity microprojectile( tungsten particle)process. They developed a gene transfer method for plant transformation without killing the plant cell.

All the above-mentioned scientists work contributing to Plant Tissue Culture Technique. Their work of contribution is very useful today in our agricultural land.


A.C.Noe (1934), “GOTTLIEB HABERLANDT” Plant Physiol .1934 Oct ;9(4):850–855.doi:10.1104/p.p.9.4.850.PMCID:PMC439112. PMID:16652925.

Carlson, P.S., Smith, H. H., and Dearing, R.D., (1972), “ Parasexsual interspecific plant hybridization”. Proc.Natl Acad .Sci. U.S.A.69:2292–2294.

Conn, H.J. (1942), “Validity of the genus Alcaligenes”. J.Bacteriol.44 353–360.

Gantheret R.(1939), “Sur la possibilities de realizer la culture indefinite des tissues de tubercules”, de Carotte.C.R.Soc.Biol.Paris 208 118–120.

G.Pelletier et al (1983), “ Intergeneric cytoplasmic hybridization in Cruceferae by protoplast fusion”. Molecular and General Genetics MGG 191,244–250.

Kerr, A. (1969), “Transfer of virulence between isolates of Agrobacterium”. Nature 223 1175–1176.

Kotte, W( 1922) ,“Kulturversuch isolierten Wurzelespitzen”. Beitr.Allg.Bot.2413–434.

Lan M. Sussex (2008), “ The scientific Roots of Modern Plant Biotechnology”.Plant cell.2008 May;2o(5):1189–1198 doi:10.1105/tpc.108.058735. PMCID: PMC 2438469 .PMID:18515500.

Murashige, T; Skoog, F (1962), “ A Revised Medium for Rapid Growth and Bio Assays with Tobacco Tissue Cultures”. Phsiologia Plantarum.15(3): 473–497.doi:10.1111/j.1399–3054.1962.tb08052.x.

Nobecourt, P (1939), “Sur la Perennite et l augmentation de volume des cultures de tissues”. Vegetaux .Compt .Rendus Soc . Biol. Lyon 130 1270–127.

P J Larkin et al (1981), “ Somaclonal variation- a novel source of variability from cell cultures from plant improvement”.Theor Appl Genet 60(4):197–214.doi:10.1007/BF02342540.

Robbins, W.J.(1922),“ Cultivation of excised root tips and stem tips under sterile conditions”. Bot.Gaz.73 376–390.

Skoog, F., and Miller, C.O. (1957), “ Chemical regulation of growth and organ formation in plant tissue cultures in vitro.” Symp. Soc. Exp.Biol. 11,118–131.

Smith, E.F., and Townsend, C.O.(1907), “A Plant -tumor of bacterial origin”. science 25 671–673.

Tim Wing Yam and Joseph Arditti (2009), “ History of Orchid Propagation: A mirror of the history of Biotechnology”.Plant Biotechnology Reports 3 (1):1–56. DOI: 10.1007/s11816–008–0066–3.

T.M.Klien et al, (1987), “High-velocity microprojectiles for delivering nucleic acids into living cells.” Nature 327,70–73.

White, P.R. (1934), “Potentially unlimited growth of excised tomato root tips in a liquid medium.Plant Physiol.9585–600.


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