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Monday, 31 March 2014

PLANT TISSUE CULTURE TECHNOLOGY: COMMERCIAL ASPECTS

During the past two decades Biotech was developed into an independent and maturing industry. There are about 5000 biotech companies around the world with market capitalization of about US$ 200 billion with an annual sales of US 50 $ billion.

National facility for Virus diagnosis and Quality Control of Tissue culture raised plants has been opened with main centre at IARI, New Delhi and five satellite centres at National Chemical Lab, Pune, Institute of Himalayan Bioresources Technology, Palampur, IIHR, Bangalore and SPIC, Chennai. The Maharashtra state is advancing in cultivating TC plants.

Many crop technologies have been standardized remains unexplored in Tissue culture. If tissue culture plants are released to meet the demands, the production level improves along with improvement in quality. Many promising varieties have been identified in banana, sugarcane, cardomum, papaya, gerbera, chrysathemum, orchids etc which are in heavy demand in commercial market can be micropropgated and was multiplied. Some of the crops which can be commercially explored by tissue culture are as follows.

SUGARCANE

Tissue culture plants are of tremendous use in vegetative propagated crops like sugarcane that will improve the yield levels by reducing the incidence of this disease.  The sugar mills require 75 lakh tonnes per mill @15 lakh plantlets (@ 15000 plantlets per ha) in the form of breeder seed (setts). These breeder setts will be raised in primary nursery by the mill and will be multiplied in the farmer’s field with seven-fold increase each time in the secondary nursery followed by tertiary nursery. These breeder seeds can be supplied to the required mills as tissue culture plantlets.

Successful shoot formation is observed after 8 days of inoculation using Thiodiazuron (TDZ) for micropropagation. There was also an increase of 10- 15 % increase in tissue culture plants.

 BAMBOO

Now a days Bamboos uses in present day life becomes increasing. Besides using it as a building material it is used for paper making, making dress materials like shirts, socks, sarees etc and as edible food. In India, This is cultivated in an area of 9 .57 lakh ha and this covers 12.85 of our forest area. Bamboo grows faster than any other forest trees. Reports are there that the species Dendrocalamus giganticus can grow even upto a height of 3 feet per day. Totally 200 plants are needed to plant one hectare. Auxiallary buds can be used as successful explants. This is highly useful in afforestation programme. Introduction and cultivation of thornless bamboo will be more effective to the end users and propogating them by Tissue culture would also help affoerstation in tropical areas where bamboos are not cultivated. 

 STEVIA

The stevioside is a good alternate for sugar and can be used in the place of sugar but without lesser calories than the cane sugar. This stevioside is 20 to 30 times sweeter than cane sugar. This is caloree free sweetener of high quality. 50 grams of stevia leaf replaces 1000 grams of cane sugar. One kg of dried leaves of stevia replaces 20 kg of cane sugar. In India it is estimated that 30 million people are diabetic and for them such sweeteners are the only alternative. The soft drink companies depend on this product. Besides this has antifungal and anti bacterial properties and maintains BP and weight in human.

BANANA
Lot of Banana varieties are cultivated in India. Tissue culture banana are marketed by various companies like SPIC, Jain drips etc. The variety Grand nine is most popularly grown in south India. These plants are preferred due to its uniform maturity, improved yield, quality fruits, uniform sized fruits etc. The hill banana is revamped by the tissue culture techniques, Production of virus free stock was made possible in this variety and was reintroduced in their native hilly regions.

CARDAMOM

India is the land of spices wherein the queen of spices the cardamom are cultivated in an area of 72,400 to 1,02, 400 ha. Cardamom is cultivated for its essential oils and oleoresin apart from it being a spice crop. Tamilnadu and Kerala are the main states that cultivate cardamom. In Tamilnadu, it is cultivated in areas like Kodaikanal hills, cumbum foothills and bodi etc. The dreaded diseases like katte, kokkekandu, necrosis, soft rot, clump rot and pests like thrips, white flies, root grubs, shoot borers etc cause severe yield loss.

The estimated Global consumption is 15000- 24000 tonnes of which majority comes from Gautemela. Cardamom has a tremendous export potential to countries like Saudi which are the largest consumer in the world followed by India. Out of 15, 250 tonnes produced nearly 7000 tonnes were exported while the rest is used for domestic purposes. Hence this has a potential for both export and domestic uses.

Successful micropropogation is achieved by culturing immature inflorescence as explants. Both large and small cardamom can be propagated by tissue culture methods. The productivity in India is only 250 kg /ha while in country s like Guatemala it is around 200 kg/ha. This may happen because of the diseases and pests that are mentioned. The yield level also increased upto 63. 5 %, which is higher than the cultivation of conventionally propagated plantlets. The tissue culture plants produced in Cardamum will be disease free and the yield level will also be increased.

 VANILA

Vanila is cultivated in temperate orchards of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Due to its high rate in the market and increased demands to meet food and confectionary industries, the area under Vanila increased tremendously. But diseases like Fusarium rot affected the Vanila plantation drastically. In Kerala, various land races of Vanila are vanished due to the infestation of diseases like wilt and rot. It has been proved that they can be cultivated extensively in the shade of coconut plantations along Pollachi and Palani foothill and even in plains under polyhouses with perfect care. Shoot tips and meristem tips serve as a good ex-plant for propagation. Vanila can be multiplied, hardened and distributed for commercial plantations based on demand by tissue culture technology, which are free from wilt and other diseases.
CUTFLOWERS
Certain type of flowers is grown as cutflowers because of their special features, particularly long stem or stalk. For example, rose, carnation, gerbera, gladiolus, Chrysanthemum, tuberose, anthurium, etc. There is also varietial preference for them according to the choice of consumers. The cutflowers apart for its domestic use it is also a good foreign exchanger.

In modern "Hi-tech" method the cutflowers are grown in polyhouses/greenhouses requiring high capital investment. But the quality of flowers produced is superior, because inside climate or micro-climate such as temperature, humidity, light, ventilation etc is controlled. Even water application is also controlled. Even water application is also controlled. Therefore, the quality of flowers is better. They are uniform in size, colour, freshness etc. Moreover flowers can be produced throughout the year to meet the market demand-domestic as well as foreign. Since flowers are of better quality, they fetch higher prices

Final consumer use of cutflowers is different from other flowers. Their use is of more sophisticated nature in educated and well to do segment of consumers. Cutflowers are mainly used for preparing bouquets, which are used in functions and ceremonies to welcome guests, VIPs and to felicitate great utility and hence fetch high prices.


SED is popularizing these techniques among farmers at Gramin Vigyan Kendra (GVK) at village Digod in Kota district of Rajasthan. 

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