The main difference between cell culture and tissue culture is that the cell culture is the laboratory process in which cells are grown under controlled conditions in vitro whereas tissue culture is the growth of cells taken from a multicellular organism. Furthermore, the cells of multicellular eukaryotes are used in cell culture while tissue culture can be employed for both animal and plant tissues.
Cell culture and tissue culture are two types of processes used to artificially grow cells of multicellular organisms outside their natural environment. Other types of culturing methods are fungal culture and microbial culture.
Key areas Covered
1. What is Cell Culture
– Definition, Types, Applications
2. What is Tissue Culture
– Definition, Types, Applications
3. What are the Similarities Between Cell Culture and Tissue Culture
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Cell Culture and Tissue Culture
– Comparison of Key Differences
Adherent Culture, Cell Culture, Micropropagation, Organ Culture, Primary Cell Culture, Secondary Cell Culture, Suspension Culture, Tissue Culture
What is Cell Culture
Cell culture is the growth and maintenance of cells of a multicellular organism outside the body, under precise laboratory conditions. Therefore, the cells in a cell culture can have either animal or plant origin. The isolation of cells can be done by enzymatic or mechanical means. Two main types of cell cultures can be identified based on the origin of the culture: primary cell culture and secondary cell culture. Primary cell culture is a culture with cells that are directly obtained from the organism and proliferated. Secondary cell culture contains cells that are obtained from a primary cell culture.
The two main methods of cell culture are tissue culture and organ culture. Pieces of tissues can be grown in tissue culture while organ culture can accurately model the function of a particular organ in various states. A common culturing vessel may contain components like the medium, which supplies essential nutrients like carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, growth factors, hormones, and gases. Some cells have to be grown attached to either solid or semi-solid media and this type of cell cultures are called adherent cultures while other cells are grown in liquid media, which allow the floating of cells in the medium. This type of cell cultures is called the suspension culture.
In cellular and molecular biology, cell cultures are one of the major tools used to study anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of cells. They can also be used to study the effects of drugs and other toxic compounds on cells. One of the main applications of cell cultures is to produce biological compounds including vaccines and therapeutic proteins in large scale. Consistency and reproducibility are two of the significant advantages of cell culture techniques.
What is Tissue Culture
Tissue culture is one of the two main methods of cell culture, which involves the growth and maintenance of tissue under laboratory conditions. Here, a small piece of a tissue can be grown in a medium. The tissue can be either plant or animal origin. The main importance of tissue culture in plants is the artificial propagation in large-scale called micropropagation. Some of the plant tissue culture methods are described below.
- Seed Culture – This method is mainly used for plants such as orchids. Here, the tissues are obtained from a plant which is derived in vitro and can be subjected to proliferate in order to obtain new plants.
- Embryo Culture – Here, a sexually produced zygotic embryo is used for the culturing. The embryo culture is the method used to ensure the germination of seeds, showing dormancy.
- Callus Culture – The callus is a mass of cells, which is undifferentiated and unorganized. Once proliferated in a culture, the callus can be induced to differentiate into different organs.
- Protoplast Culture – Protoplast is the cell without a cell wall. Protoplast cultures can be used to regenerate the whole plant, development of hybrids or cell cloning.
Similarities Between Cell Culture and Tissue Culture
- Cell culture and tissue culture are two types of culturing methods of cells of multicellular eukaryotes.
- Cells are grown in vitro in both methods under controlled laboratory conditions.
- Also, both types of cultures are important in research and they have medical and commercial applications.
Difference Between Cell Culture and Tissue Culture
Cell culture refers to the removal of cells from an animal or plant and their subsequent growth in a favourable artificial environment while tissue culture refers to the growth in an artificial medium of cells derived from living tissue. Thus this is the main difference between cell culture and tissue culture.
Types of Cells
Cells of multicellular eukaryotes are used in cell culture while plant cells and animal cells are used in tissue culture. This is also an important difference between cell culture and tissue culture.
The two main methods of cell culture are tissue culture and organ culture while seed culture, embryo culture, callus culture, and protoplast culture are some types of the tissue culture.
Application is another difference between cell culture and tissue culture. That is, cell cultures can be used to produce biological compounds while tissue culture can be used in micropropagation of plants.
Cell culture is a technique involved in the growth and development of cells of multicellular eukaryotes in vitro under laboratory conditions. It has both research applications and it can be used to produce useful biological compounds. On the other hand, tissue culture is the growth of cells from tissues of animals or plants. Plant tissue culture is mainly involved in the micropropagation of plants. The main difference between cell culture and tissue culture is the type of cells used and the applications.
1. “Cell Culture” By Umberto Salvagnin (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Cell culture (HeLa cells) (261 17) Cell culture (HeLa cells) – anaphase, metaphase” By Doc. RNDr. Josef Reischig, CSc. – Author’s archive (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Banana seedlings by tissue culture” By Sanu N – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia