Somaclonal Variation in Progeny of Plants from Corn Tissue Cultures

  • Elizabeth D. Earle
  • Vernon E. Gracen
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 32)


Spontaneous variation in plants recovered from tissue culture has been documented for many species (1). This variation, recently termed “somaclonal variation” (1), has been seen in many types of culture systems, including ones involving protoplasts, long-term callus cultures, and fresh explants. The occurrence of somaclonal variation has both positive and negative aspects. For those concerned with in vitro propagation, it is undesirable; progeny not true-to-type are usually of little value. Spontaneous changes may also be a problem in attempts to transform plant cells; a high frequency of change not related to the experimental manipulations can complicate interpretation of results and can yield material with alterations other than the desired specific gene transfer. Although variability among cultured plant cells may reduce or obviate the need for mutagenesis prior to in vitro selection, it can again result in variants other than those being specifically selected.


SOMACLONAL Variation Fertility Restoration Restorer Gene Hybrid Corn Oxyacetic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth D. Earle
    • 1
  • Vernon E. Gracen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Breeding and BiometryCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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