, Volume 82, Issue 1, pp 93-103

Plant cell and biotechnology studies in Linum usitatissimum – a review

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The species Linum usitatissimum (flax/linseed) has been the focus of a great deal of both basic and applied research effort in plant cell and biotechnology studies in recent years. In this review we consider applications of the techniques of plant biotechnology in this species under several distinct headings. Plant cell and tissue regeneration strategies and applications are discussed, and the applications of the techniques of somatic embryogenesis, protoplast isolation, culture and fusion and cell suspension cultures in this species are described. A major area of study is the use of anther and microspore culture where clear advantages to breeding programmes could be applied. In addition, embryo and ovary culture studies have resulted in significant findings. The more recent technologies of gene transfer and expression by genetic transformation are reviewed, and a section on strategies for improvements in technological quality is also included. Finally we propose conclusions and future prospects for this ancient, but still highly relevant crop.