tissue culture

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The growth of the tissues of living organisms outside the body in a suitable culture medium. Culture (or nutrient) media contain a mixture of nutrients either in solid form (e.g. in agar) or in liquid form (e.g. in physiological saline). Tissue culture has proved to be invaluable for gaining information about factors that control the growth and differentiation of cells. Culture of plant tissues has resulted in the regeneration of complete plants, enabling commercial propagation (e.g. of orchids) and – through culture of meristem tissues – the production of virus-free crop plants. See also explantation; micropropagation; tissue engineering.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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