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Tissue culture is a process that involves exposing plant tissue to a specific regimen of nutrients, hormones, and light under sterile, in vitro conditions to produce many new plants, each a clone of the original mother plant, over a very short period of time. Plant cells can be grown in isolation from intact plants in tissue culture systems. The cells have the characteristics of callus cells, rather than other plant cell types. These are the cells that appear on cut surfaces when a plant is wounded and which gradually cover and seal the damaged area. The plant cells can grow on a solid surface as friable, pale-brown lumps (called callus), or as individual or small clusters of cells in a liquid medium called a suspension culture. These cells can be maintained indefinitely provided they are sub-cultured regularly into fresh growth medium. Younger tissue contains a higher proportion of actively dividing cells and is more responsive to a callus initiation programme. The plants themselves must be actively growing, and not about to enter a period of dormancy.