Introduction to Plant Biotechnology

Introduction to Plant Biotechnology

Plant biotechnology is a field of biological science, in which we study the use of tissue culture and genetic engineering and the techniques used for tissue culture and engineering.

Ex. GMC (genetically modified crops) such as Bt. Cotton

  • In this field of plant biotechnology, we can learn a different variety of methods such as:
  • Gene transfer methods, plasmid isolation, and culture methods, plant embryo culture.


Gene transfer

This is a method of insertion of genetic information (DNA) into plant cells and it can be possible by genetic engineering. The product of this technique is called transgenic organisms.

There are two methods of gene transfer.

  1. Vector mediated gene transfer (by using agrobacterium mediate transformation)
  2. Direct gene transfer
  3. Cloning can be generally defined as an exact copy. A clone is a genetic copy of its parent. In this technique, we use plasmids for copying the DNA.


Cloning is a multistep process. The steps for cloning are:

  1. Isolation
  2. Ligation
  3. Transfection
  4. Selection

There are several methods used for inserting clone genes into plant cells

  1. Gene gun method
  2. Electroporation
  3. Micro-injection


Tissue culture

  • The tissue culture is a method to culture the different parts of a plant, and it is possible due to the totipotency of plants.
  • First, we take plant part and culture it inside the laboratory, the first mass of undifferentiated cells is known as a callus.
  • Example of tissue culture

Anther culture, meristem culture

Transgenic plants

  • These are the plants made by inserting foreign genes into the parent plant it has a huge advantage to humans.
  • Transgenic plants have medical benefits, agricultural benefits, industrial benefits.
  • By making a transgenic plant we can make nutritional plants, medicinal plants such as eatable vaccines, pest resistance plants such as Bt. cotton


Plant Tissue Culture Lab

In a plant biotechnology lab, there is:

  • Media preparation room
  • Washing room (for equipment and glassware)
  • Culture room

Instruments used in the lab

  • pH meter
  • Balances
  • Hot air oven
  • Microscopes
  • Centrifuge
  • Laminar airflow

Culture Media

  • Culture media is required for the growth of cells used in the lab.
  • Generally, it contains a carbon source, growth regulators, vitamins, inorganic salts, gelling/solidifying agent.

Example of some common culture media used in plant tissue culture:

Whites Medium

M.S. Medium

N6 Medium

Use of growth regulators

AUXINS: Auxins are used for callus induction ex. IAA (indole acetic acid) 2,4-D

CYTOKININS: shoot proliferation, organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis

Example: zeatin, Kn, BAP

GIBBERELLINS: meristem culture

Natural complexes used in the medium

  • Coconut milk
  • Yeast extract
  • Tomato juice
  • Potato extract


Sterilization is very important in plant tissue culture, there is a big chance of damage to our culture by fungal, bacterial, or viral infection.


  1. Physical:

Heat (Moist heat and Dry heat)

 filters such as microfilters, cellulose membranes, HEPA filters

Air sterilization laminar airflow (HEPA filters)

  1. Chemical: use of disinfectant such as formaldehyde, EtOH

Advantages of plant biotechnology

Plant biotechnology plays a very important role in improving farming techniques and production, keeping the plant pest resistance, or disease resistance, and improving the quality of the crop.



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