Tissue culture studies of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)
Tomato is a major vegetable crop that has achieved tremendous popularity over the last century. It is grown in almost every country of the world. Development of protocols for in vitro selection can provide new advances for the production of stress tolerant cultivars. Techniques have been optimised for the production of haploids and somatic hybrids. Attempts have also been made to transfer the higher regenerative ability of wild varieties to cultivated tomatoes. Although, some information is available on the morphogenesis of tomato, the techniques have not been developed to a level at which they can be utilised in large-scale multiplication of commercially important cultivars. The morphogenesis response seems to be highly dependent PGRs used in the media, which is again cultivar and genotypic specific. Somatic embryogenesis in tomato is still at its infancy, and efficient procedures for large-scale production via somatic embryogenesis are yet to be developed. Genetic stability of the tissue culture raised tomato plants also needs to be addressed. The use of a combination of molecular and conventional breeding techniques could be the option for the development of cultivars resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. This paper reviews the advances made in various aspects of tissue culture in tomato. It also discusses the issues that still need to be addressed to utilise the full potential of plant tissue culture techniques in genetic improvement and mass propagation of tomato.