Biotechnology Question Bank, Plant Biotechnology, Cell Theory, Cell-Totipotency

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Plant Biotechnology

1. Who proposed the concept of the “cell theory” ?

The cell theory was proposed by Schleiden and Schwann.

2. Define Cell-Totipotency.

It is defined as the ability of a plant cell to regenerate into whole plant.

3. What is the basic technique in plant tissue culture?

The property of cell totipotency is exploited to culture the plant cells.

4. Which is the most commonly used culture medium for plant cells and tissues?

The most extensively used nutrient medium is MS medium which was developed by Murashige and Skoog in 1962.

5. Name the substance added to the culture medium to induce callus induction.


6. Name a few compounds used as cryoprotectants.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) , glycerol, peoline and mannitol.

7. Name the bacteria known as natural genetic engineer of plants

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the bacteria known as natural genetic engineer of plants.

8. What is the name of the first inter-genetic somatic hybrids between potato and tomato?

The first inter-genetic somatic hybrids between potato and tomatoes are known as “Pomatoes” or “Topatoes” .

9. Fill in the blanks

(a) … is the gas responsible for the ripening of fruits.

(b) Golden rice is rich in …

(c) … refers to an unorganized mass of cells, which are generally parenchymatous in nature.

(d) Breeding associated with molecular markers (nucleic acid) is known as … (e) Genetically engineered … plants produced polyhydroxy butyrate globules in their chloroplasts. (f) … is the enzyme which inhibits pollen formation and hence prevents unnecessary pollination.

Ans. (a) Ethylene, (b) Pro-vitamin A, (c) Callus, (d) Molecular Breeding, (e) Arabidopsis, (f) Barnase

10. What are the uses of callus culture?

Callus cultures are used for:

(a) Plant regeneration

(b) Preparation of single cell suspensions and protoplasts

(c) Genetic transformations studies

11. Write some uses of cell suspension cultures?

The cell suspension cultures are used for:

(a) Induction of somatic embryos/shoots

(b) In vitro mutagenesis and mutant selection

(c) Genetic transformation

(d) Production of secondary metabolites

12. Define

(a) Explant culture,

(b) Callus culture.

Explant Culture- The culture of the plant parts (explants) is known as explant culture. The explants can be any part of the plant like the piece of stem, leaf, cotyledon, hypocotyls etc. Callus culture- Callus refers to an unorganized mass of cells, which are generally parenchymatous in nature. Callus cultures are used for plant regeneration, preparation of single cell suspensions and protoplasts, and genetic transformations.

13. What do you mean by in vivo gene banks and in vitro gene banks?

In vivo gene banks have been made to preserve the genetic resources by conventional methods e. g. seeds, vegetative propagules etc. In vitro gene banks have been made to preserve the genetic resources by non-conventional methods is cell and tissue culture methods. This ensures the availability of valuable germplasm to breeder to develop new and improved varieties.

14. What is the technique of parasexual hybridization?

The parasexual hybridization or somatic cell hybridization offers an alternative for obtaining distant hybrids with useful agronomic traits (known as somatic hybrids or parasexual hybrids) which would never be formed in nature through sexual fertilization. The protoplast is isolated from the two sources and is allowed to randomly fuse with each other. The required fusion products are selected either through visual selection, biochemical methods, and fluorescent dyes.

15. What are the natural secondary metabolites produced from plants?

Plants produce thousands of sophisticated chemical molecules. These include the chemicals that are required for the plant՚s basic metabolic processes such as alkaloids, resins, tannins, latex etc. Shikonin is obtained from Lithospermum erythrohizon is used as antimicrobial, red pigment used in lipsticks and dye for silk. Quinine is obtained from Cinchonal officinalis is used as antimalarial drug.