PBIO*3750 Plant Tissue Culture

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2019 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course examines and discusses the principles, protocols and utilization of plant cell tissue culture systems. In vitro propagation and regeneration, mutagenesis and selection, secondary metabolite elicitation and cell transformation techniques including protoplast fusion, direct DNA uptake and plant bacterial co-cultivation will be emphasized.

Pre-Requisite(s): AGR*2470 or BOT*2100


Teaching Assistant:

Rebecca Bradley

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. understand the theory and principles of cellular toti-potency
  2. know the mechanisms by which plant cells revert back from a seemingly terminal situation, to regenerate further.
  3. understand the principles and methods behind single cell regeneration which is known as 'plant cell and tissue culture'.
  4. know and apprecitae the various methods or pathways by which single cells develop into a tissue, organ or whole plant.
  5. know the use of modern technology like 3D printing and LED lighting in plant tissue culture.
  6. understand the Genetic improvement at the single cell level and how this can be translated at the organism level.
  7. know how to regenerate plants in sterile environment.
  8. understand if the GMOs are boon or bane and the possible social issues associated with it.
  9. know how to use plant cell and tissue culture techniques for both research and commercial purposes.
  10. understand the Plant genetic conservation using in vitro techniques.

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:
  • Tissue Culture Methodology
  • LED Lighting in Plant Tissue Culture
  • Cell Growth, Mutation and Differentiation Processes in Plant Cultures
  • Organogenesis/somatic embryogenesis
  • Culture Types and Applications
  • Plane Cell Cultures for Plant Transformation
  • Societal Issues in Plant Biotech
Labs & Seminars:

Topics to be covered in labs include:

  • Media Preparation and Tests of the Effects of Plant Hormones on Tobacco Regeneration 
  • Somatic Embryogenesis and Artificial Seeds
  • Surface Sterilization, Explant Preparation and culture
  • Leaf Disc Transformation by Agrobacterium
  • Haploid Production in Rapeseed by Microspore Culture
  • Protoplast Isolation and Flow Cytometry


One paper presentation using a published report – In this students will be asked to pick a recent research paper that was published in any of the Plant tissue culture related journals [Plant Cell Reports, Plant Cell Tissue Organ Culture and In Vitro-Cell Dev Biol-Plant are three good choices] and present it as if they did the work to the class and critique the paper using their knowledge. Usually this will be done in the last 2 weeks of November during regular lab time. Review papers and papers published by University of Guelph faculty should not be considered. Once you identify the paper of your choice- save a PDF of that and send it to me for approval. This should be completed by October 31. Delays will result in losing points.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Grade

Midterm test




Lab reports


Final Exam


Final examination:

Please refer to Web Advisor for exam schedule and location.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:
  • No text books are required as the lectures are compiled from a number of such books.
  • Class lectures will be available on CouseLink as PowerPoint presentations and the students are instructed to print them ahead of the lecture.
  • Although lecture notes will be available through CourseLink, students are strongly encouraged not to miss lectures as there will be a lot of additional examples and explanations provided in the lectures. From the past experience, regular class attendance and attentiveness has paid good dividends.
Recommended Texts:


Lab Manual:

A lab manual will be provided during the first lab – no costs involved for this.

Other Resources:


Field Trips:


Additional Costs:

No additional costs are expected for this course.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies

Any discrepancies over grading should be brought to the Professor’s attention within one week from the date of handing out. After one week, no changes will be accommodated. All are expected to attend the mid-term test without fail. Alternate dates cannot be accommodated unless there is a proven emergency which should be provided. If anyone needs consideration, it should be brought to the Professor’s attention within the first 2 weeks of classes.

Course Policy on Group Work:

Labs will be done in groups of two. The data collected is expected to be shared by the two and partners are allowed to take turns to record data, although it is encouraged for individual attention to be given while taking data. However, the lab report must be independent. Plagiarism is strictly not allowed as per University policies.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Recording of lectures may be permitted on a case by case basis and prior authorization from the professor is required for such electronic recordings. Use of cell phones/messaging during the class hours in stricltly prohibited. Students are expected to put their cell phones in silence mode during the class. No exceptions to this.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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