Somaclonal Variation and Crop Improvement

  • Philip J. Larkin
  • William R. Scowcroft
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 26)


There has been a remarkable escalation of interest in tissue-culture derived plant variation (somaclonal variation) in the last few years. Earlier authors were aware to some extent that abnormalities could result from a tissue culture cycle (42,65,67). However it is only more recently that the thought has been seriously entertained that some of this variation may be useful for varietal improvement (95,100). It is our contention that the lateness of this realization was a consequence of the fact that so few tissue culturists were engaged in careful analysis of the regenerated plants and also failed to see cell culture manipulation in a genetic context. We were committed to the idea of variation but envisaged it would only happen after specific manipulations (somatic hybridization or DNA-mediated transformation). Underlying the development of these important means of modifying the plant genome was the presupposition that tissue culture was cloning.


Callus Culture Somatic Hybrid Anther Culture Somaclonal Variation Crop Improvement 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip J. Larkin
    • 1
  • William R. Scowcroft
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plant IndustryCSIROCanberraAustralia

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