In China, research on tissue culture applications to fruit crop improvement has expanded greatly in the past 10 years. Tissue culture is considered to be an effective method for a) virus elimination from vegetatively propagated plants; b) rapid clonal multiplication of superior cultivars; c) the isolation and avoidance of chimeras that appear in mutation breeding, d) the establishment of haploid and polyploid lines; e) overcoming sterility in breeding through embryo rescue; and f) germplasm maintenance and storage. Tissue culture technology has been used for most of the important fruit crops in China, including a few fruit crops introduced from foreign countries (Table 1). Plants can be regenerated from various explants such as a) shoot-tips and meristems, b) cotyledons, c) anthers, d) immature and mature embryos, and e) endosperm. Plants can also be regenerated from protoplasts via organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, or axillary bud proliferation. Procedures for the mass production in vitro of plants for commercial purposes have been established in grape (Vitis vinifera L.), hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida Bunge), strawberry (Fragaria spp.), and currant (Ribes nigrum L.). An overview of the various tissue culture technologies that are being used to improve fruit crops in China is presented here.
Present address: DNA Plant Technology Corp., Cinnaminson, NJ 08077.
Received for publication 2 Feb. 1988. We thank David A. Evans, B. Reisch, and J. Hunter for their helpful comments. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.