Callus, dedifferentiation, totipotency, somatic embryogenesis: What these terms mean in the era of molecular plant biology?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent findings call for the critical overview of some incorrectly used plant cell and tissue culture terminology such as dedifferentiation, callus, totipotency, and somatic embryogenesis. Plant cell and tissue culture methods are efficient means to preserve and propagate genotypes with superior germplasm as well as to increase genetic variability for breading. Besides, they are useful research tools and objects of plant developmental biology. The history of plant cell and tissue culture dates back to more than a century. Its basic methodology and terminology were formulated preceding modern plant biology. Recent progress in molecular and cell biology techniques allowed unprecedented insights into the underlying processes of plant cell/tissue culture and regeneration. The main aim of this review is to provide a theoretical framework supported by recent experimental findings to reconsider certain historical, even dogmatic, statements widely used by plant scientists and teachers such as “plant cells are totipotent” or “callus is a mass of dedifferentiated cells,” or “somatic embryos have a single cell origin.” These statements are based on a confused terminology. Clarification of it might help to avoid further misunderstanding and to overcome potential “terminology-raised” barriers in plant research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number536
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2019

Keywords

  • Callus
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Plant cell and tissue culture
  • Plant regeneration
  • Somatic embryogenesis
  • Terminology
  • Totipotency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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