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MSc in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture

Offered by the Department of Plant Sciences

The ‘Plant Cell and Tissue Culture’ in general, is the growth of individual plant cells or isolated tissues on a nutrient medium under aseptic conditions in glass or plastic vessels under artificial light. It is also referred to as ‘in vitro’ culture, and is an important and essential technique used for plant regeneration and multi-propagation, particularly in modern Plant Biotechnology. Today tissue culture techniques are used throughout the world as a tool both in research and in commercial production and are being applied to a great extent in agriculture, horticulture and industry. Some of the important applications of plant cell/ tissue culture techniques include:

  • Elimination of viruses from plant tissues to obtain virus free plants.
  • Micropropagation- mass production of uniform plants (clonal propagation)
  • Induction of genetic variability.
  • Improvement of crops through genetic engineering.
  • Production of haploids – which offers a quick and convenient way of obtaining homozygous plants in breeding programs.
  • Production of secondary metabolites through cell cultures.
  • Studies on physiological, biochemical, genetic and structural problems related to plant growth and development.


A Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from a recognized University with Botany/ Plant Sciences/ Plant Biotechnology or Agriculture as a subject


Any other equivalent qualification accepted by the Senate of the University of Colombo.

Course Fees

LKR 225,000.00

*The course fee would be payable in two installments.

Registration for 2020 intake

The programme is not yet advertised for the 2020 intake.

Programme Duration

The duration of the entire program is 24 months (4 semesters)


The main aim of this program is to produce experts in the field of plant cell and tissue culture. These experts in turn, would be able to

  • Use the knowledge gained, in their institutes or start his/ her own industry.
  • Train others and thereby produce skilled human resources in the field
  • Assist in developing of biotechnology industry using the available resources of the country.
  • To improve local agriculture and horticulture industry
  • To lay the framework for encouraging, promoting and assisting industry on plant cell and tissue culture and its application in the country.

Program Structure

The MSc programme consists of course work including laboratory classes and a mini-research project. The duration of the entire program is 24 months (4 semesters).

  • First year (Part I )- Course work (2 semesters of 20 weeks each)
  • Second year (Part II)-Mini-research project, Seminar and viva voce examination

The Postgraduate Diploma program consists of course work with a duration of 12 months (2 semesters)

Lectures and laboratory sessions will be conducted on Fridays (3.00 pm to 6.00 pm) and Saturdays (Full day) only.

Part I corresponds to the level of Postgraduate Diploma (25 credits), completion of both Part I and II will enable the candidates to achieve the level of MSc by course work according to the SLQF framework.

Course Modules


Semester I

Course Code Name Credits
MTC 5104 Plant Growth and Development 2C
MTC 5105 Aspects of Molecular Biology and Genetic Manipulation 2C
MTC 5106 Biostatistics, Experimental Design and Computer Applications 2C
MTC 5107 Biosafety, Bioethics and Intellectual Property Rights 1C
MTC 5108 Practicals I 4C

Semester II

Course Code Name Credits
MTC 5202 Tissue culture technology 2C
MTC 5205 Applications of tissue culture technology 3C
MTC 5206 Commercialization of tissue culture and Entrepreneurship 2C
MTC 5207 Practicals – II 4C
MTC 5208 Assignment 3C

PART II - Semester III & IV

Course Code Name Credits
MTC 5302 Project (includes mini-research, seminar and viva-voce) 6C
Total Credits 31C

Further Information

Further information regarding the MSc Program can be obtained by contacting the programme coordinator.

Contact details of the programme coordinators are as follows.

Intake Coordinator Email Phone No.
2020 Dr. P Saputhanthri 94 11 258 5038