PLANT TISSUE CULTURE — POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS IN THE NEW ZEALAND NURSERY INDUSTRY
Over the past 10 years or so there has been considerable interest in the prospect of using tissue culture methods in modern plant propagation practice (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Progress in the tissue culture field has indeed been exciting and it is now possible, with some cultivars of some species, to grow complete plants from single cells and even from protoplasts (i.e. cells from which the cell wall has been removed). Such areas are still only research tools which allow us to investigate in more detail the processes of cell growth and differentiation.
There are, however, two applications of tissue culture which have already found a place in plant propagation. Firstly, in the production of virus-free (disease-free or high-health) propagating material and, secondly, in the rapid clonal multiplication of selected plants. It is about these applications that I will speak today. I will describe some of the principles and problems involved, the work we are doing at Plant Physiology Division,
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