Cell and tissue culture uses the potential to regenerate entire plants from single cells or cell clusters (tissues) on specific culture media in a sterile, in-vitro environment.
Plant’s growth tissue is called meristem. Meristems consist of indeterminate cells which can evolve into any given plant cell. This is used in tissue culture: the meristems of the plant that should be propagated are removed from the tips of the shoots or the leaf axils and applied to specific nutrient media. They will grow into new, healthy plants.
Meristems are usually pathogen-free, thus, ideal for growing healthy parent plants. Plants can also undergo thermotherapy, in addition to meristem cuts, to destroy any existing pathogens, if necessary. Molecular biological tests can be used to examine whether there are still pathogens on the plant. This test is also required to produce pathogen-free seeds or propagation materials.