Just as each person is different and unique, each plant is also different. Some have properties such as better colour, performance, or resistance to pests. For years, scientists have been searching for methods to make exact copies of these superior individuals.
Plants normally reproduce by producing seeds through sexual reproduction. This means that the ovules of the flowers are fertilized by pollen from the stamens of the plants. Each of these sex cells contains genetic material in the form of DNA. During sexual reproduction, the DNA of both parents combines in new and unpredictable ways, creating unique plants.
This unpredictable nature is a problem for plant growers because it may take several years of careful work in the greenhouse to produce a plant with desirable characteristics. I bet that many people think that all plants grow from seeds. However, researchers have now developed various methods to produce exact copies of seedless plants. And now they do it with a method called “tissue culture.”
What is Tissue Culture?
Tissue culture (TC) is the method of cultivation of plant cells, tissues, or organs in specially formulated nutrient media. If the right conditions are provided, an entire plant can be regenerated from a single cell. Plant tissue culture is a technique that has existed for more than 30 years. For developing countries, tissue culture is an important technology for the production of high-quality, disease-free planting material and for the rapid production of many uniform plants.
Micropropagation, a form of tissue culture, increases the amount of planting material to facilitate distribution and large-scale planting. In this way, thousands of copies of a plant can be made in a short period of time. Micropropagated plants are observed to establish faster, grow more vigorously and are larger, have a shorter and more uniform production cycle, and produce higher yields than conventionally propagated plants.
Plant tissue culture is such a simple technique. I can say this because many developing countries have already mastered this technique. Its application only requires a sterile workplace, nursery and greenhouse, and trained workers. Unfortunately, tissue culture is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and can be expensive. Tissue plants that are important to develop countries are oil palm, plantain, pine, plantain, date, eggplant, jojoba, pineapple, rubber tree, cassava, yam, sweet potato, and tomato. This application is the most common form of traditional biotechnology in Africa.
Plant tissue culture: benefits for farmers
In recent years, plant tissue culture methods have gained increasing industrial importance and popularity among companies seeking to improve propagation efficiency. There are many benefits that tissue culture can bring to anyone involved in plant breeding, from the local farmer to large-scale farming.
For a farmer, few things are as important as a good yield. What promotes healthy performance? Everything from genetics to disease management will have an impact on performance. Tissue culture allows the farmer to carry the desirable genetics of a healthy mother plant throughout the harvest. This is innovative for several reasons:
Uniform Growth: A farmer can manage harvest and care more efficiently by eliminating the guesswork. Variations generally occur within the same species, but with these micropropagation methods, farmers can eliminate those variations and produce uniform crops that require exactly the same harvest and care.
Genetic improvement: farmers can always benefit from perfect genetics. The genetics that promotes high yields in the shortest time possible and produces vigorous, disease-resistant plants offer the greatest profit potential.
Genetic Preservation: By using crop protection mixes on crops, farmers can maintain the genetics they desire and eliminate the risk of genetic profiling over time. PPM ™ is an effective formula for sterilization and can be dispensed into new containers with every movement. PPM ™ also allows plants to remain free from contamination.
Year-Round Products: Combined with a controlled climate, plant tissue culture methods can be used to grow plants in all seasons and throughout the year. A farmer using tissue culture methods can increase sales by increasing the number of crops, whether lettuce or bananas and the frequency of harvest.
Applications of Tissue Culture technology in Asia
- Tissue culture has been refined to meet the needs of orchid species and hybrids known to grow well in Southeast Asia. After the experiences of Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, the trade-in cut and ornamental flowers is an essential source of foreign exchange and additional income for small farmers.
- In Thailand, tissue culture is used to reproduce slow-growing and environmentally sensitive orchids. Thailand is the leader in tissue culture in Southeast Asia and produces 50 million plants a year. Most of these are orchids, which helped the country become the world’s largest exporter of whole and cut orchids.
- The micropropagation technique by sprout culture was developed for the massive propagation of bananas. In the Philippines, this is used as an approach to control viral diseases in bananas, such as banana cluster virus (BBTV) and banana bract mosaic virus (BBrMV), which are often transmitted through the reproductive material.
Problems Farmers Have to Face
Ask a farmer and he will tell you that there is always a shortage of problems to solve. Tissue culture can reduce these problems and tackle them at the root. Mushroom growth? Low income? Diseased plants? Viral infections? All of these problems can be avoided by using PPM ™ and tissue culture methods.
Farmers in developing countries can use tissue crops to improve genetics and increase yields, feed their land and improve exports. In Africa, tissue culture has made it possible for farmers to grow genetically improved rice that thrives better in harsher conditions and also offers higher yields. Tissue culture is also a popular investment among banana growers, especially those looking to propagate disease-free banana plantations. Additionally, farmers who specialize in ornamental, exotic, or rare plants are known to use CT techniques to ensure vigorous plants and therefore reliable profits.