In the past, members of the Cactaceae family were mostly propagated by seeds or vegetatively by cuttings and grafting. Seeds, however, do not guarantee genetic stability and, in the case of some cacti, seeds are difficult to obtain, their germination rates are low, or they need to be stored for a long time in specific light and temperature conditions. Traditional vegetative reproduction in vivo, on the other hand, may be less efficient insofar as a limited number of plants can be obtained. Major issues associated with traditional propagation methods may be solved by the use of plant tissue culture. Today micropropagation techniques are applied in order to produce large numbers of new high-quality plants in a relatively short time and space. This is especially important for endangered and desirable species such as cacti. This paper discusses the achievements, current state and future prospects of cactus micropropagation methods. We also provide an overview of cactus multiplication by areole activation, direct and indirect organogenesis (caulogenesis and rhizogenesis) and somatic embryogenesis, as well as consider acclimatization. Micropropagation of cacti is still sufficiently idiosyncratic that different protocols must be used for different species, even closely related ones.
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Vol. 2014 • No. 19