I see sellers of plants (mostly house plants I believe) mention tissue culture. Mentioned as a good thing = you know what you are getting. Thought I saw one seller make a point of "these are not from tissue culture..." i.e. better. OK, what are the pluses and minuses of tissue culture? Sounds like a good thing to me. A way of reproducing difficult plants, plants that do not sucker, do not flower often, etc. Also - how hard is tissue culture to do? Could I do it?
It's another means of asexual propagation--just like with cuttings you'll get a plant that's genetically identical to the parent. With plants that are harder to start from cuttings but you still want to create genetic duplicates this is another option. But for the average home gardener it's probably not something you'd really want to do since it's more complicated than doing cuttings. From the standpoint of someone who's propagating plants there would be definite pros & cons of tissue culture vs other methods of propagation, but from the standpoint of someone buying a plant I don't see why it would make a difference if it was grown from a cutting vs tissue culture.
The pros are creating thousands of plants from a small sample and possibly or probably getting rid of any disease. The cons like ecrane mentioned are the extra steps needed - very clean rooms, preparing sterile flasks & sterile media to grow on, preparing the material before introducing it into a sterile environment, etc. The keyword is sterile conditions much like an operating room.
Ok, sterile is one thing my place is not. I'll leave it to the other guys to do. Interesting though.
'Tis my understanding that tissue culture does. not produce new plants that are identical to the parent under certain circumstances or with a handful of species in common cultivation. The cells selected for culture my not be typical of the plant from which they were taken particularly when culturing hybrids. African Violets will sometimes sport when reproduced from a leaf in the conventional manner if the cells at the cut are not representative of the cultivar.