The farms of the future are seeded in the fields of the microscopic. The agrarian roots of man, that
crucial step in the cultivation of society, a genetic compulsion almost, has been taken by man’s other
hardwired instinct: the desire to perfect. The desire to solve problems. And the desire to the go
beyond nature, to shape the world to his bidding and his needs. Though the science of plant tissue
culture is plain, ordinary to read, make no mistake. This is big and this is important. Let its plainness
be a testament to man’s ingenuity, a humble reminder that there is greatness all around, so much so
that the small get lost, taken for granted. But never should it be forgotten.
To put simply, plant tissue culture is a blanket statement for the techniques used in growing and
producing different plants. It involves the removal, the isolation, or growth of plant cells to be added
to existing plants, or to be grown by itself. Taken away from the fields of the uncertain, this process
has almost an artificiality about it. It is precise and superior than the farming of old. The plants are
grown in laboratories, guided by the needs of man and not nature.
The process of plant tissue culture requires the distillation of the building blocks of nutrition and plant
life. Hormones and tissue, the chemicals of nutrition are taken out and grown. This is called the
explant. The growth of the explant to the generation of a new plant is called toti-potency. This
describes the genetic potential of the cells to form a complete plant. It also encapsulates the scientific
progress and technological advancement required for this reality.
And this reality can solve very real problems. A scarcity of land and strides towards health pose very
real problems: not enough food and not enough nutrition. The manipulation and creation of new
strains, stronger and more nutritious plants alleviate this. Mockups for potential future farms involve
efficient food producing factories. The idyllic greens of a life of nature disappears, but give rise to a
life where hunger may be extinct, where nutrition is simple and efficient.
Already, there have been implementation of these techniques. Many fruits: bananas, tomatoes and
figs come to mind. The phrase of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) has been levied on these
endeavors, for at its heart, plant tissue culture is genetic modification. And from this there is
Though widespread and already used worldwide, some things do not sit right for many when it comes
to GMO foods. Its cutting edge newness means it is untested. The effects of genetic manipulation on
man is unknown, and may be harmful. The power that these techniques bring, its potential to be
monopolized and exploit the poor, also warrant concerns. The taking away of nature’s control has put
a great responsibility and burden on man, and the fear of collapse always looms.
But in the face of all of this, it is the simplicity of plant tissue culture that stands out. While
initializations like GMO can be tossed around, and the fears of the unknown and of corporate greed
be sown and watered, the underlying premise of it all remains unscathed and unstoppable. Though
the words amount to little, plant tissue culture represent man’s perfection of his ancestral duty. It
represents his ambition and his advancement. The pure drive of perfection stains the process, and
though the effects may be unknown and though there are risks, the underlying intent is there. And
that intent cannot be stopped. It is the intent to be great.