Since the initial work some 20 years ago on culturing plant cells and producing from them clonal material, commercial use has developed in many ways. Where there are no methods for vegetative propagation of a crop plant and seeds give rise to variable progeny, then tissue culture is the ideal method for production of identified premium plants. This will be illustrated by the multiplication of selected genotypes of the oil palm. Recombinant DNA technology will in the long run make major changes in the genetics of agricultural crops towards making them better fitted to provide raw materials matched to the needs of the food and chemical industries. Possibilities exist for the use of plant cell culture for the production of expensive plant-derived substances but many difficulties have yet to be overcome before major commercial exploitation occurs.