Plant tissue culture allows to select and propagate with increased efficiency tree varieties which are physiologically and genetically more homogeneous. This is mainly achieved through vegetative propagation for research or commercial purpose.
Highly controlled conditions for aseptic cultivation in culture rooms, special media and methods allow us to drastically increase the organogenic potential (bud formation, rootability) of initial plant material which can initially be very low.
The techniques used for broadleaves (hardwood species) are miniaturized version of traditional vegetative propagation techniques (micrografting and microcutting) applied to a wide range of plants developmental stages, organ and tissues (meristems, buds, nodes, internodes, leaves, embryos, seeds...) which are sampled from the trees to be propagated.
Conifers species (softwoods) are mainly propagated through somatic embryogenesis which allows to propagate individually every embryo available from mature or immature seeds. In both hardwoods and conifers we can applied original rejuvenation techniques to restore juvenile characteristics and vigour. Embryo rescue can be done on seeds of low vigour (e.g. from interspecific or inbred crosses, damaged mother tree, etc.).
Development of an efficient in vitro tissue culture system is a prerequisite for transgenesis and most cryopreservation applications.