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Nat Protoc. 2011 Jun;6(6):715-42. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2010.144. Epub 2011 May 5.

Initiation, growth and cryopreservation of plant cell suspension cultures.

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Division of Pharmacognosy, Section Metabolomics, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands.


Methods described in this paper are confined to in vitro dedifferentiated plant cell suspension cultures, which are convenient for the large-scale production of fine chemicals in bioreactors and for the study of cellular and molecular processes, as they offer the advantages of a simplified model system for the study of plants when compared with plants themselves or differentiated plant tissue cultures. The commonly used methods of initiation of a callus from a plant and subsequent steps from callus to cell suspension culture are presented in the protocol. This is followed by three different techniques for subculturing (by weighing cells, pipetting and pouring cell suspension) and four methods for growth measurement (fresh- and dry-weight cells, dissimilation curve and cell volume after sedimentation). The advantages and disadvantages of the methods are discussed. Finally, we provide a two-step (controlled rate) freezing technique also known as the slow (equilibrium) freezing method for long-term storage, which has been applied successfully to a wide range of plant cell suspension cultures.

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