Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328223

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Citrus for Enhanced Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Design of experiments (DOE) - history, concepts, and relevance to in vitro culture

item Niedz, Randall
item EVENS, T - Former ARS Employee

Submitted to: In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2016
Publication Date: 9/12/2016
Citation: Niedz, R.P., Evens T. 2016. Design of experiments (DOE) - history, concepts, and relevance to in vitro culture. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology Plants. 52:547-562.

Interpretive Summary: Correctly designed experiments are essential for learning anything new how to grow in vitro cultured plant cells, tissues, and organs in the manner that we need to have them grow. Experiments that are not correctly designed result in little or no new knowledge, and will often be difficult to reproduce. Experimental irreproducibility is a significant problem with in vitro studies and other fields such as the biomedical and psychology literature. A geometric basis is used to illustrate the principles of experimental design, and why these principles are essential in how to think about and design in vitro experiments. Additionally, the design of experiments is explained in the context of the scientific method.

Technical Abstract: Design of experiments (DOE) is a large and well-developed field for understanding and improving the performance of complex systems. Because in vitro culture systems are complex, but easily manipulated in controlled conditions, they are particularly well-suited for the application of DOE principles and techniques. Successful use of in vitro technologies in horticultural, plant breeding, or genetic applications typically involves improving some aspect of a system’s growth response – organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, metabolite biosynthesis, or responses required for crop improvement such as ploidy manipulation, embryo rescue, creation and manipulation of chimeras, somaclonal variation, and mutant isolation. How and why DOE is the appropriate research approach for developing and understanding in vitro systems research is explained. The review is presented as a narrative of the historical context of DOE, and uses the geometric basis of DOE to explain the underlying concepts. Using DOE in in vitro plant culture research is illustrated with examples from our experience.