Let us make in-depth study of the definition, history and importance of the organ culture.
The organ culture refers to the in vitro culture and maintenance of an excised organ primordia or whole or part of an organ in a way that may allow differentiation and preservation of the architecture and/or function.
W. Kotte and W. J. Robbins (1922):
Reported first the culture of excised root tips from the aseptically germinated wheat seedlings.
P. R. White (1930):
Reported the successful culture of root segments of aseptically germinated tomato seedlings.
C. D. LaRue (1942):
Reported first in vitro culture of excised flower buds of Kalanchoe globulifera and Nemesia strumosa.
S. W. Loo (1945):
Reported the culture of 5 mm shoot tips of Asparagus seedlings on a medium.
L. L. Jansen and J. Bonper (1949):
Grew the ovaries of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium on a medium. Although ovaries enlarged, viable seeds were not produced.
J. P. Nitsch (1949-1951):
Successfully cultured the ovaries of Lycopersicon esculentum, Cucumis anguria, Phaseolus vulgaris, Fragana sp. and Nicotiana tabacum.
G. Morel (1952-1955):
Showed that certain virus infection could be eliminated from potato and dahlia by aseptic culture of stem tip. This method allowed the recovery of healthy plants. He also discovered the rapid multiplication of tropical orchid Cymbidium using the apical meristem culture.
N. Maheshwari (1958):
Isolated ripe pollen and ovules of Papaver somniferous and cultured them together. He was able to observe all the stages from pollen germination, through fertilization to the development of mature seeds.
E. Galun, Y. Yung and A. Lang (1962- 1963):
Tested the effect of IAA and GA3 upon sex expression of the culture of isolated floral bud of Cucumis sativus.
T. A. Steeves and I. M. Sussex (1966):
First realised that culture of excised leaf primordia would provide an experimental system to study the complete development of leaves under controlled condition. They successfully cultured the leaf primordia of ferns, particularly Osmunda cinnamomea.
Importance of Organ Culture:
(i) Organ culture provides an excellent experimental system to define the nutrients and growth factors normally received by the organ from other parts of the plant body and from its external environment.
(ii) Organ culture is particularly valuable in studies of the interdependence of organs for growth hormones and other growth factors.
(iii) Cultured organs may be ideally suited for studying specific problems in morphogenesis and for investigating the sites of biosynthesis of specific metabolites and growth compounds.
(iv) Organ culture also opens up a new avenue for the developments in agriculture and horticulture.