GLOSSARY

EXPLANT – The excised plant portion used to initiate a tissue culture.  The process of dissection and removal to culture of these small organs or tissue sections is explantation.  Explant choice, the timing of the excision and pretreatment are important determinants of culture success.

 

IN VITRO – [Latin: “in glass”] – Experimentation on organisms or portions thereof in glassware or culture; growing under artificial conditions as in tissue culture.  The antonym of in vivo.

 

IN VIVO – [Latin: “in life”] – Experimentation on organisms under natural conditions within intact living organisms.  The antonym of in vitro.

 

MICROPROPAGATION – Refers to propagation in culture by axillary or adventitious means.  It is a general term for vegetative (asexual) in vitro propagation.  It sometimes refers specifically to axillary bud proliferation.

 

TOTIPOTENCY – the potential (totipotential) or inherent capacity of a plant cell or tissue to develop into (recreate) an entire plant if suitably stimulated.  Totipotency implies that all the information necessary for growth and reproduction of the organism is contained in the cell.  Although theoretically all plants are totipotent, the meristematic cells are best able to express it.

 

VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION  – (VEGETATIVE REPRODUCTION)The propagation of plants by means other than by seeds.  Asexual detachment of some specialized somatic portion of the plant body (bulb, tuber, leaf, etc.) followed by its development into an entire plant.

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