Plant tissue culture may be used for various purposes. At present, major commercial applications comprise propagation (‘micropropagation’), various biotechnological breeding techniques (in particular, genetic engineering and induction of haploids) and freeing plants of diseases (‘meristem culture’). A fourth application is the production of chemicals by cell and organ cultures. This application was very promising some 10 to 15 years ago, but many stumbling blocks occurred and commercial application is still very limited. The major problem is the very low productivity of the cultures. The book under review contains the proceedings from the third workshop on ‘Primary and Secondary Metabolism of Plants and Plant Cell Cultures’. It is a reprint of two special issues of the journal Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture. Previous workshops were in 1984 and 1988. The third workshop shows well how focus has shifted to solve the problems. Now many studies deal with genes and molecular biology in addition to culture techniques and biochemistry. The book does not contain reviews, but the 32 contributions give a good overview of the present state in the field.