Aggregated nanoporous microparticles for slow release of plant growth regulators and their use for in vitro tissue culture

ISHS Secretariat
Aggregated nanoporous microparticles for slow release of plant growth regulators and their use for in vitro tissue culture

Saba Taheri is a PhD candidate in the in vitro plant biotechnology and nanotechnology laboratory at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. She works under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefaan Werbrouck and Prof. Dr. Andre Skirtach. Her research focuses on the development of a new method for the slow release of plant growth regulators (PGR) by microcarriers. PGR are essential in the tissue culture of plants. Thus far, the mechanism of delivery of these compounds is through absorption from the growing medium. Plant tissues that are in direct contact with the medium uptake a large influx of chemical. But in many biological developmental stages, hormonal gradients in space and time play an essential role in signaling PGR activity. The problem of the in vitro system is that hormonal control is difficult or impossible to achieve with a constant supply in the medium. One solution would be to develop slow-release systems. A promising possibility is to use candidate carriers for the PGR. Mesoporous micro CaCO3 particles can slowly release PGR to induce a spatial/temporal gradient in plant tissue. Saba developed aggregates of CaCO3 carriers with different physical properties that could influence the PGR absorption and release profiles. Then she evaluated these particles in bioassays with model species. Now she applies them to in vitro regeneration of meristems of various plant species. Combinations of differently charged particles in the media produce a range of effects. This technique provides a fascinating associated benefit. These candidate marker systems could become a novel tool to apply PGR to resolve many types of challenges in plant biotechnology. Saba also presented a second research project to develop integrated techniques for chimera free in vitro meristem regeneration in olive. This project was funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Micropropagation and shoot regeneration of olive trees are not easy because of phenol oxidation, pronounced apical dominance, excessive callus formation, or hyperhydricity. Her studies combine promising new in vitro tools to develop improved protocols.

Saba Taheri (SeyedehSaba Taheri) won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best oral presentation at the International Symposium on In Vitro Technology and Micropropagated Plants at IHC2022 in France in August 2022.

Saba Taheri, Laboratory for Applied In Vitro Plant Biotechnology, Dept. Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Building C, 4.116, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, e-mail:

The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae

in vitro tissue culture
Young Minds Award Winners