TC vs OS

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Are TC and OS the same?

Poll ended at Mar 22, 2006 9:40 am

Total votes : 32

TC vs OS

Postby Jamie » Mar 08, 2006 9:40 am

Hi All,
Do you think there's a difference inbetween OS and TC?

Here's what I think about the situation..

If a plant is tc'd and it accepts being tc'd then it's a CLONE of the original plant, so there's NO difference inbetween a TC and OS.. If there's a difference then the hosta market is FLOODED with misnamed plants and tcing should be stopped completley. If it doesn't accept tc, then they'll probaly realease it as a tc sport though :roll: .
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TC vs OS



Postby LucyGoose » Mar 08, 2006 10:42 am


Hi Jamie!

Well, my thinking....(it's hard.... :roll: ) is isn't OS like the real original plant and then anything coming off that is OS on, and on, and on.....THEN tc is just clone...BUT, then a CLONE, means IDENTICAL....I voted undecided.....I am waiting for the pros......I think this can get deep.... :o
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Postby leafmould » Mar 08, 2006 1:22 pm

Hi Jamie :P as I understand it, when a variegated hosta is t/c ed you can get plantlets in all the tissue colours the hosta may have.
for example, when 'Guacamole' is done, a certain percentage of plantlets will be from the light coloured part, 'Fried Bananas' and some will be from the dark colour 'Fried Green Tomatoes'
It is up to the t/cer to cull these un-identical clones from the batch prior to release, although I think sometimes some get through, sometimes thats good sometimes not. With 'Guacamole' the monotone clones are great plants, why chuck them ? It seems that unsorted or unculled t/cs get sent to Canada, difficult for the vendor, but sometimes a bonus for a purchaser with a sharp eye :cool:
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Postby Justaysam » Mar 08, 2006 3:25 pm

We snap up those little tc oddities. Who knows what they will turn into. How long has the tc process been around anyway? I know it will take years for my little strange ones to mature. The place where I get them sells them for about 5 bucks, and calls them the orig. name, but off type.
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Postby Nathalie23 » Mar 08, 2006 5:02 pm

Just a question, what os and tc mean???!!!! :roll: :roll: :D

I usually speak french so sorry for my mistakes in english
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Postby barbara » Mar 08, 2006 5:42 pm

Nathalie, OS would mean Originators Stock = piece of original plant, and TC would be Tissue Culture or InVitro, I think the term in French, which is what most nurseries in Quebec are selling.
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Postby scootersbear » Mar 08, 2006 6:35 pm

My opinion is there is only 1 OS plant out there. If you get a peice of that plant it's OS...but if you get a part of that division plant it's no longer OS...since hostas are unstable you can't guarantee that division will be just like the origional OS. I think thats why we have problems with certain hostas..I think theres some problems with TC's taken from less than ideal plants and not from the OS that causes some problem. I think hostas like NBC and Fire and Ice represent good examples. That being said a clone should be the exact thing. I like TC's because lets face it otherwise it would be quite expensive to enable our habits.
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Postby thy » Mar 09, 2006 5:39 pm

And I would still have 5 hostas :cry:
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Postby janet » Mar 09, 2006 7:45 pm

:lol: Pretty funny Pia! :lol: :lol: I'd only have two. :o
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Postby John » Mar 09, 2006 11:14 pm

The answer must be "no", as not every "original source" plant is a "tissue culture"; therefore, there must be a distinction in terms.
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Postby Justme » Mar 11, 2006 11:00 pm

Of course they are different. One is a clone and the other a division of a plant. Both may result in a totally different plant at some point in the process.

I think another question to ask is: Is OS superior or preferable to TC? Or the opposite.

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Postby Jamie » Mar 11, 2006 11:58 pm

Thanks for replying all, and it's great to see the difference of opinions :wink: ..

I still believe there the exact same thing, due to the fact that it's always the OS that's originally cut into tiny pieces to TC, then those pieces are treated to induce growth. So your taking pieces of OS and inducing them to grow roots. Then there could be some issues with the chemical growing medium altering the genetics and producing the TC sports or defects. Ultimaltley it's called a TC, but your still getting a piece of the OS plant.

taken from Sci-Talk

Basically the technique consists of taking a piece of a plant (such as a stem tip, node, meristem, embryo, or even a seed) and placing it in a sterile, (usually gel-based) nutrient medium where it multiplies. The formulation of the growth medium is changed depending upon whether you are trying to get the plant to produce undifferentiated callus tissue, multiply the number of plantlets, grow roots, or multiply embryos for "artificial seed".
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Postby pepper1 » Mar 12, 2006 10:08 am

I agree Jamie. Interesting thread.

Whether you are looking at a normal division of a plant or a plant derived through tissue culture, both arise at some point, from a single cell of the parent plant. Whether you propagate a plant through division, or rooted cuttings (on plants where that works), or through tissue should obtain a clone (genetically identical) of the original.

We see mutation in the form of "sports" in whole plants...actually fairly often. I think the reason we sometimes think that tissue culture is so different is that when we multiply the plant in culture we have many, many more chances for mutation (like sporting) to occur.

I would assume that as with whole plants in the garden, that there are varieties that more or less stable in the lab and produce either a very high percentage identical plants or a relatively high percentage of off types.

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Postby John » Mar 12, 2006 10:24 am

Sometimes it is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact. The definitions of the two terms under discussion clearly show the difference. The words are not interchangable in meaning, and a poll will not change that despite the vote!
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Postby pepper1 » Mar 12, 2006 10:35 am


That is true. An OS and a TC plant are not the same...these are designations for how that plants were multiplied.

I (and others, I think) took Jamies original question as a question of whether the two were genetically the same...

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Postby Jamie » Mar 12, 2006 11:17 am

Thanks again for replying all..

Sorry for not explaining the question better, and the question was are the GENTICS the same.

To me TC and OS make no difference, cause if I get the last plant from a batch of TC, I'm still getting a piece of the OS that it was ultimately started with. The only difference in between the two is the technical terms used for propagation.

The main reason I asked is cause I know quite a few people that think there's a slightly different gentic issue in between the two, and won't ever buy a TC.

This question was about our OPINIONS whether we all agree with each other or not, that's the American way to talk about them. I don't expect them to change the name of TCing and never did, but still wanted to hear others opinions. If we can't express our opinions, then what's the sense of having forums?
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Postby Wanda » Mar 12, 2006 12:50 pm

I think the point is moot until we can say with certainty that even a “visually identical” division of an original plant is the same genetically - and we can’t tell that without genetic testing. Everyone is familar with sports...what if the division held a bit of the “sport” genetics? It is still what we now consider OS, since it is a division of the original...but may be obviously different in look from the original.

And to tell the truth, until we know more about why/how/when hosta tissue layers can change the layer order causing a change the coloring, or why/how/when plastids can express more/less/different will all be a delightful mystery. With TC, you use cells to make more...well, what happens if you start with one of those cells that are from the “wrong” tissue layer, or from a place the plastids are doing something unexpected? Bet it won’t be identical to the original! Or even more simply...on an edge-colored plant - would you end up with two identical plants if you TC both the center color cells and the edge-color cells? Unlikely.

Hostas have delighted me more than any other plant I have ever is wonderful how they can change completely! Everyone with a hosta has a likely chance to find something new and wonderful just growing naturally on their work...just joy!

It would be nice to know how and why...but I will certainly enjoy the mystery until then! And to tell the truth, I don’t think we will ever know...hosta are just too unstable, in a most delightful way

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Postby John » Mar 12, 2006 9:12 pm

My question concerns the definition of "original source"-- to me, this means the plant came directly from the garden under the supervision of the hybridizer/originator. The implied guarantee here is that it is true-to-name. If a piece of a cultivar is sent on to a laboratory for tc'ing, that direct chain has been broken.

All that apart from the genetics involved.
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Postby Chris_W » Mar 12, 2006 9:36 pm

I put no at first, because when I quickly read the question I was also thinking of the definition of things.

After reading the entire thread I would have to answer the question no again ;) I've seen enough TC plants that were not identical to the original plant, be it that they did not look the same or completely failed to grow. At first I thought these failures to grow were me, that I screwed it up somehow. Then I got to know my suppliers better so posed a question about a couple plants that didn't grow and their answer was "Oh, yes, we did have a couple bad batches of those" and I got a credit for them.

Then there are the basic variations between different supplies of, for example, June and Guacamole. Some companies use a stock plant of Guacamole that was selected for a slightly darker edge and greater distinction between the center and margin. This is basically an "improved" Guacamole, and their tissue cultures look slightly different and frankly, better, than the original Guacamole. There are similarities in June. Some companies produce a TC of June that is a little darker in the center and other produce a TC of June that is a little lighter in the center. They are distinctly different when grown side by side, but because June can vary so much in coloration depending on the garden situation it may be hard to notice otherwise.

Well, if we step back and clarify things a lot more on the subject, my answer is: if the tissue culturing is done correctly, from a stock plant that is the same as the original, culled appropriately, then grown on to insure viability and that the plant ultimately looks to the growers eye the "same" as the original, then the TC is, in the grand scheme of gardening, a cloned copy of the original and I can say "Yes, this new plant is the same as the original plant". It isn't "Originator's Stock", but yes, it is the same plant in my eye. ;)

So my final answer, Regis, is YES, but with several qualifiers :D
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Postby Kent » Mar 13, 2006 12:35 am

To add to this, let’s look at natural stands of a wild species hosta, for example venusta. There are many (I think 6) wild collected versions of venusta on the market. All are different. This is because they were collected from different areas in the wild and there will be variations in a stand. This is excepted and rightly so.
Now why do we not except variations in TC??? I think TC's are the same as OS in every aspect.

Now the big question......Is Liberty the same as Sagae??
This will cause some controversy, but I think they are the same :eek:

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