Potential of Cell and Tissue Culture Techniques as Aids in Economic Plant Improvement

  • Louis G. Nickell
  • Don J Heinz
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 2)


There are many ways to increase the genetic base of a population for effective selection. Sexual reproduction is nature’s own way of broadening this base. It is the most effective way, but not the only tool available to the breeder. There are ways of bypassing sex. Among these are the use of induced mutations and manipulations at the cellular level. At least six ways are being studied for potential use in manipulating plant systems at the cellular level in order to use them in “asexual plant improvement.” These six approaches are (a) variation in cell and tissue culture, polyploidy, aneuploidy, and chromosomal mosaics; (b) induced mutations; (c) induced polyploidy; (d) haploid plants from pollen; (e) fusion of vegetative cells (intraspecific, interspecific, intergeneric, interfamilial); and (f) transformation. Although the potential of cell and tissue culture for crop improvement could be enormous, caution in being too optimistic prematurely is stressed.


Chromosome Number Anther Culture Plant Tissue Culture Callus Tissue Haploid Plant 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis G. Nickell
    • 1
  • Don J Heinz
    • 1
  1. 1.Experiment StationHawaiian Sugar Planters’ AssociationHonoluluUSA

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