Secondary Products in Tissue Culture

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Abstract

Secondary products in nature generally are closely associated with differentiation of plant cells. They are synthesized in a specific tissue at a certain developmental stage of a plant. Since the same genes for a secondary metabolite, e.g. an antho-cyanin of flower colour, are not only present in the cells of flower petals but also in all other living cells of the plant, there should be some regulatory mechanism responsible for the activation of the genes at the right cells and at the right time. When plant cells are cultured in vitro with an appropriate combination of plant hormones, they proliferate as an unorganized mass of cells. In some, but not necessarily all, of these morphologically de-differentiated cells, it is possible, at least in some plant species, to activate structural genes for secondary metabolism, thus producing in vitro the identical compounds as accumulate in differentiated tissues of the plant.