Tissue Culture

Tissue Culture the propagation of living organisms through the placement of small amount of undifferentiated tissue or single cells in artificial medium as opposed to their growth and multiplication in natural conditions. The term tissue culture generally refers to artificial cultivation of plant tissue. Animal tissue, on the other hand, cannot be easily cultivated in vitro, that is, in the laboratory, in the manner by which the plant tissue can be grown. Plant tissue culture work in Bangladesh started at the Department of Botany, University of Dhaka, in the early 1970s but it has now extended into other universities and research organisations, and recently into the private sector as well for commercial exploitation of the technology.

Plant tissue culture is actively pursued in bangladesh sericulture research and training institute working on mulberry; bangladesh institute of nuclear agriculture (rice, sugarcane, tea and grape); bangabandhu sheikh mujibur rahman agricultural university (cabbage, jackfruit, seed-tuber, ornamental plants, orchids); bangladesh agricultural research institute (banana, pineapple, jackfruit, strawberry, papaya, watermelon, and ornamental plants such as orchids, gladiolus, chrysenthemum, etc); bangladesh agricultural university (papaya, potato, banana, onion, garlic, rose, orchid, gladiolus); B[bangladesh forest research institute(bamboo, cycas, orchid, jacaranda, neem, teak, jackfriut); Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dhaka (neem), and in the University of Rajshahi (banana, mango, potato, pineapple). At present about six organisations including some NGOs are working on micro-propagation of potato, banana and orchids with commercial target.

Characteristically, animal cells grow as a thin layer of cells, called monolayer, on the inner surface of culture vessel, but they can also be grown in suspension in the culture medium similar to a bacterial culture.

Cultured animal cells serve a very useful practical purpose. They can be adapted to grow viruses for use as vaccines for which plant cells are not suitable. Thus, many viral vaccines are produced in different cell lines such as, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus of cattle is grown in BHK21 cell line, rabies virus in VERO cells etc. In Bangladesh, the Institute of Public Health, a government run institute, maintains some common cell lines such as HeLa, VERO, HEp-2, MRC-5, BHK etc. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) also has a stock of a few cell lines. These are at present used for research purpose only, but potentials are good for using animal cell cultures to produce viral vaccines, for example, vaccine for FMD and anti-rabies vaccine. [Zia Uddin Ahmed]