Shoot Meristem Culture

  • Erin E. Irish
Part of the Springer Lab Manuals book series (SLM)


This protocol provides techniques for the isolation, staging, and culture of the shoot apical meristem of maize (adapted from Irish and Nelson 1988, 1991). One of the interesting characteristics of the maize plant is the tight regulation of the number of nodes produced by the shoot apical meristem before it converts to a terminal reproductive structure, the tassel. Shoot apex (shoot apical meristem plus one or two of the youngest leaf primordia) culture can be used in developmental analyses to delay the conversion to a tassel by increasing the number of nodes the meristem produces. Isolation and culture of the meristem also allow surgical experiments to be performed on the exposed meristem.


Adventitious Root Shoot Apex Shoot Apical Meristem Tungsten Wire Leaf Primordia 
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  1. Irish EE, Nelson TM (1988) Development of maize plants from cultured shoot apices. Planta 175: 9–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Irish EE, Nelson T (1991) Vegetative to floral conversion occurs in multiple steps in maize tassel development. Development 112: 891–898Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1994

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  • Erin E. Irish

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