Establishing an aseptic in vitro culture for Dendrobium, or for any plant in fact, is the most important step towards developing an effective in vitro tissue culture including micropropagation protocol. Success in initial aseptic culture will contribute to the successful production of in vitro cultures that may involve the initiation or formation of callus and/or protocorm-like bodies (PLBs), the induction, regeneration or multiplication of shoots, and the preparation and proliferation of plantlets suitable for acclimatization. The initiation of an aseptic culture is closely related to the appropriate selection of an explant source and its preparation, including its (in vivo) pre-treatment if necessary and subsequent disinfection procedures. Care in the choice of explant and the application of an appropriate disinfection protocol can successfully reduce, or eliminate, contamination in in vitro cultures while reducing the negative impact on plant tissues and plantlet regeneration. Many unique aseptic culture procedures for Dendrobium genus have been reported in the literature, very often specific to particular tissues or genotypes, and this review not only highlights the details of such protocols, but also provides practical advice for novice – and even seasoned – orchidologists who wish to research Dendrobium in vitro, although it is cautioned that there is currently no universal aseptic culture procedure that can be applied to all conditions, all explants or all genotypes
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