Staff February 6, 2017

Tissue culture propagation is the intricate, delicate art and science of cloning thousands, nay, millions of plants, with the relative assurance that each new plant will be an exact duplicate of the parent. (“Relative” is a relative term: Let’s not dismiss the power of Mother Nature, who occasionally throws a curve ball and, through her miraculous powers, can surprise us with a mutant.) With the proper facility, the appropriate tools and the correct training, your program can flourish.

Let’s emphasize that last caveat: The correct training is essential, and the best way to become an expert is to find a qualified academic or a seasoned professional to be your mentor. The sources we list here are meant to supplement that training. Unless you’re experimenting on your own time, don’t try this at home.

You’ll find here a number of sources of information, all of which are readily available. And for one-on-one, personal help, there’s a LinkedIn group you can join.

If you have a particular favorite resource, please let us know, and we’ll be happy to share the information with your colleagues.

Image Courtesy Of iStock | nongpimmy & khwanchais


The beauty of a reference book is that, more often than not, it’s a voice of authority. It’s been written by an expert in the field, it’s been reviewed by other experts, and it’s been edited by folks who are careful to verify.

Some of the books we list here may be well beyond the science required by your duties; on the other hand, a few may be too elementary for your particular needs. Check out the best for your program. In no particular order:

  • Plant Propagation by Tissue Culture: Volume 1, The Background, by Edwin F. George and Michael A. Hall
  • Plant Propagation by Tissue Culture, 3rd Edition, by Edwin F. George, Michael A. Hall and Geert-Jan De Klerk
  • Plants from Test Tubes: An Introduction to Micro-Propagation, 4th Edition, by Lydiane Kyte, John Kleyn, Holly Scoggins and Mark Bridgen
  • Plant Tissue Culture: Techniques and Experiments, by Roberta H. Smith
  • Plant Tissue Culture: An Introductory Text, by Sant Saran Bhojwani and Prem Dantu
  • Plant Tissue Culture: Propagation, Conservation and Crop Improvement, by Mohammad Anis and Naseem Ahmad
  • Plant Tissue Culture, Development, and Biotechnology, by Robert N. Trigiano and Dennis J. Gray
  • Hartmann & Kester’s Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices (8th Edition), by Hudson T. Hartmann, Dale E. Kester, Fred T. Davies Jr. and Robert L. Geneve
  • The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation, Second Edition: From Seed to Tissue Culture, by Michael A. Dirr and Charles W. Heuser Jr.
  • American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual of Practical Techniques, by Alan Toogood
  • The Plant Propagator’s Bible, by Miranda Smith
  • The Complete Book of Plant Propagation, by Graham Clarke and Alan Toogood
  • Making More Plants: The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation, by Ken Druse
  • Plant Propagation Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, by Caula A. Beyl and Robert N. Trigiano
  • Plant Tissue Culture: How new varieties of crop plants are produced, by Dr. Ray Gordon
  • Introduction to Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, by Sunil D. Purohit
  • Plant Tissue Culture, by Vinay Sharma and Afroz Alam
  • Practical Biotechnology and Plant Tissue Culture, by Prof. Santosh Nagar and Dr. Madhavi Adhav
  • Handbook of Plant Cell Culture, Vol. 1, by D.A. Evans, W.R. Sharp, P.V. Ammirato and Y. Yamada
  • Practical Woody Plant Propagation for Nursery Growers, by Bruce MacDonald
  • Production of Landscape Plants, by Carl E. Whitcomb

Image Courtesy Of iStock | micro_photo

Videos and Demonstrations

In-person, hands-on learning can’t be beat, but online or video presentations can offer refreshers, tips and tricks. Provided the technique you learn from the wizard on YouTube is approved by your production manager, you can use these resources to reinforce what you’ve been taught.

Yet another caveat: As with all online information, consider your source. Be sure that you carefully verify its authority to avoid being misled by amateurs. That being said, don’t dismiss a video demonstration just because it looks like a cartoon. Oftentimes an animated presentation provides a simple, step-by-step approach that’s very easy to follow.

  • “Tissue Culture Part I,” University of Florida
  • “Tissue Culture Part II,” University of Florida
  • “Tissue Culture Part III,” University of Florida
  • “Plant Tissue Culture,” Plant & Soil Sciences eLibraryPro
  • “Tissue Culture Lab,” Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • “Tissue Culture of Woody Plants,” by Daniel Lineberger
  • “The Many Dimension of Plant Tissue Culture Research”, by Daniel Lineberger
  • “Plant Tissue Culture Techniques,” by Lorraine Mineo
  • “Plant Tissue Culture CSIR”
  • “Plant Tissue Culture” series by Shomu’s Biology
  • ‘Tissue Culture of an Aquarium Plant,” University of Florida

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