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Plant tissue culture: the history

  • R. J. Gautheret

Abstract

The principles of tissue culture were contained in the cellular theory, expressed in 1838-1839 by Schleiden [1] and Schwann [2]. This theory postulated implicitly that the cell is able of autonomy and even of totipotency. This was obvious in the cases of egg or of spore. But Schleiden and Schwann had no experimental power to demonstrate that this ability belongs also to somatic cells. This demonstration was discovered after a very long and tortuous tramping. A first step was obtained by botanists who described in the 1850’s the wound callus which ensure the wound healing. This cicatrization was described with details as early as 1833 by Trécul [3]. In 1878 Vöchting [4] observed many cases of callus development. Tissue culture was therefore possible; but at this time bacteriological technique was in its infancy. Microbiologists were interested only in the boundless world of bacteria and neglected plant cells. And above all the concept of tissue culture had not yet been expressed. In 1893, Rechinger [5] reached a new step when he tried to investigate experimentally the “minimum limits” of divisibility of plant parts, using isolated buds or sections of roots and other materials. The explants were placed at the surface of sand moistened with tap water. He concluded that pieces thicker than 1.5 mm would develop. But he used no nutrients. Five years later, Haberlandt began experiments in order to verify the cell theory and his results were published in 1902 [6].

Keywords

Tissue Culture Callus Culture Somatic Hybridization Plant Tissue Culture Shoot Meristem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

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  • R. J. Gautheret

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