Micropropagation - Method - Adventage & Disadventage

Tissue culture (Micropropagation) techniques are now being used for effective vegetative propagation of several horticulture and agriculture crops. These techniques of propagation involving cell, tissue and organ culture are collectively called micropropagation.

In recent year, the technique of tissue culture is increasingly employed to raise a large number of plantlets from a small tissue. The advantage of this technique over the conventional techniques is that in a relatively short time and space a large number of plants can be produced starting from a single individual. the technique can be used to derive and multiple disease free stocks and multiple sexually derived hybrids that are sterile, i.e., sterile hybrid can be grown even if vegetative propagation is not possible in a crop.

Method of Micropropagation

Macro propagation is a very complicated and expensive process, it involves five stages (0, I, II, III and IV). All these are stages are well explained below.

Stage 0

This is the initial stage of micropropagation and involves the selection and growth of the stock plant in a nutritive medium for about 3 months under controlled conditions.

Stage I

In this stage, initiation and establishment of culture in a suitable medium are achieved. The selection of appropriate explants is very important. The most commonly used explants are organs, shoot tips and axillary buds. The chosen explant is the surface sterilized and dipped in a growth promoting hormones (Auxin) before use.

Stage II

Stage II mainly involves multiplication of shoot or rapid embryo formation from the explant.

Stage III

This stage involves the transfer of stocks to the medium for rapid growth of Shoots. in some cases it directly transferred to the soils.

Stage IV

This stage involves the transfer of plantlets of stage III from the laboratory to the environment of a greenhouse. For some plant species, stage III is skipped, and un-rooted stage II shoots are planted in pots or in suitable compost mixture.

Advantages of Micropropagation

i. Faster multiplication - a large number of plants can be reproduced from a single individual in a short period of time.

ii. Possible to produce genetically identical plants.

iii. Sterile plants can be propagated.

iv. Increased yield of plants and increased vigor in floriculture species are achieved.

v. Through somatic embryogenesis production of synthetic artificial seeds is becoming popular nowadays.

Examples of Micropropagation

Micropropagation technique is being commercially used for the production of Orchids, Carnation, Gladiolus, Chrysanthemum and many other ornamental plants. This technique is also useful in producing healthy plants in several important crops like potato, tapioca, and sugarcane. Even haploid plants can be produced by tissue culture technique.

While using micropropagation for commercial purposes, the cost-benefit ratio will have to be taken into consideration. In order to reduce the cost of micropropagation, automatic plants having bioreactors and bioprocessors have been developed for tissue culture at a mass scale.

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