Tissue Culture Laboratory (for Production Of Potato Seeds)
|Potato is probably the most popular food item in the Indian diet and India is one of the largest producers of potato. It is grown all over the country with Uttar Pradesh growing the maximum quantity. Looking to the estimated demand of nearly 50 million tonne of potato by 2020, for a nearly 1.3 million population, the production and productivity will keep rising. Potato requires incessant efforts to meet the ever increasing demand of the growing population of the country. In all the potato growing regions the availability of high quality clean seed tuber has been the most limiting factor owing to the conventional clonal propagation that favors disease build-up that drastically reduces yield. Seed alone accounts for 40-50% of the total cost of the cultivation, hence quality seed is a vital input for obtaining high yields. In recent years biotechnology has opened up new frontiers in crop improvement and tissue culture is one of such techniques which have been successfully employed for micropropagation of elite virus free plant material. The potato, mainly due to its amenability for micropropagation has moved it from test tubes to field. Availability of quality planting material/seed of potato is a major constraint now days. Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla (CPRI) has been producing seeds. A few private companies are also engaged in potato seed production through biotechnological methods but this quantity is not sufficient to meet the growing demand. Moreover, due to demand driven market of seeds the farmers are often burdened with higher price. It is estimated that the country requires 0.8 million (8 lakh) tonnes of potato seed every year to produce targeted 7.08 million (70, 80,000) tonnes of potato as envisaged by the DAE for this year. In order to reduce the demand â€“supply gap, micropagation by shoot culture technique is used for the mass propagation of potato. This method is used as a control approach to viral and bacterial diseases which are commonly spread through propagative materials. Micropropagated plants are observed to establish more quickly, grow more vigorously and are taller, have a shorter and more uniform production cycle, and produce higher yields than conventional propagules. Tissue culture (TC) is the cultivation of plant cells, tissues, or organs on specially formulated nutrient media. Under the right conditions, an entire plant can be regenerated from a single cell. Plant tissue culture is a technique that has been around for more than 30 years. Throughout the world, thousands of laboratories apply plant tissue-culture technology to crops, ornamental plants and endangered plant species. In the late 1970's, the technology for large scale tissue culture was refined for potato production. Today, almost all seed potato production systems incorporate this technology in some way. The produce from fields ultimately translates into high volumes of quality seed potatoes at competitive prices. Tissue culture is seen as an important technology for developing countries for the production of disease-free, high quality planting material and the rapid production of many uniform plants. Tissue culture technology will make it possible for farmers to have access to the following such as large quantities of superior clean planting materials that are early maturing and higher annual yield per unit of land (20-30 tons per hectare against 5-10 tons) previously realized with conventional material. A standard tissue culture laboratory should have the provision and facilities for washing and storage of glassware; preparation of sterilized nutrient media and its storage; aseptic conditions for preparation and inoculation of plant material and maintenance of culture under controlled conditions. The cost involved to establish a tissue culture laboratory is so high that it restricts investments by an entrepreneur. Therefore, a new infrastructure setup can get support from the Govt. under the scheme â€œassistance under National Horticulture Mission, setting up new tissue culture unitâ€ which extends financial support under different heads. There is a good scope and opportunity for new entrepreneurs to venture into this field.|
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