tissue culture, the propagation of plants through the placement of small amounts of undifferentiated tissue or single cells in an artificial environment. The tissue is placed in a nutrient medium that favors the production of roots and shoots, and is later planted normally. By using tissue culture, the favorable qualities of plants can be precisely controlled, so that each plant is identical for the particular quality being sought, whether it be disease resistance or plant chemical production. In 2012 the technique was reported to have been used by Russian scientists to grow plants from Siberian campion fruits dated at 31,800 years old.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.