Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Topolins: A panacea to plant tissue culture challenges?

  • Adeyemi O. Aremu
  • Michael W. Bairu
  • Karel Doležal
  • Jeffrey F. Finnie
  • Johannes Van StadenEmail author


Since the discovery of topolins as naturally occurring aromatic cytokinins (CKs), they have emerged as genuine alternatives to the long serving CKs such as benzyladenine, zeatin and kinetin in plant tissue culture (PTC). Globally, the past 15 years has witnessed a surge in the use of topolins and their derivatives in research laboratories. Topolins, especially the meta-topolin and its derivatives have been employed for culture initiation, protocol optimization and for counteracting various in vitro induced physiological disorders in many species. Evidence from various studies indicate the rising popularity and advantages (although not universal for all species) of topolins compared to other CKs. In this review, we assess the use of topolins in PTC with emphasis on their metabolism, structure–activity relations and effect on morphogenesis in vitro. In addition, the review provides a detailed list of species that have been used to study the effect of topolins in comparison with other CKs, the growth parameters affected and recommended concentrations are also provided.


Cytokinin metabolism Growth parameters meta-Topolins Micropropagation Physiological disorders 





Adenine sulphate


N6 benzyladenine
















meta-Flourotopolin riboside


Indole-3-acetic acid


Indole-3-butyric acid






Kinetin riboside


meta-Methoxy topolin


meta-Methoxy topolin riboside


ortho-Methoxy topolin


ortho-Methoxy topolin riboside


Murashige and Skoog medium




meta-Topolin riboside






Plant growth regulator


Plant tissue culture


Shoot-tip necrosis






Zeatin O-glucosyltransferase


Zeatin riboside



We are grateful to the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) and the National Research Foundation (Pretoria), South Africa as well as Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Palacký University (Olomouc), Czech Republic for financial support (Grant no. ED0007/01/01).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adeyemi O. Aremu
    • 1
  • Michael W. Bairu
    • 1
  • Karel Doležal
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jeffrey F. Finnie
    • 1
  • Johannes Van Staden
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Biological and Conservation SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal PietermaritzburgScottsvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Laboratory of Growth RegulatorsInstitute of Experimental Botany AS CROlomouc-HoliceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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