Plant tissue culture is an exciting branch of agricultural bio technology, which we at Seribu Bio Systems believe can be a driving force for 100% self sufficient Malaysian agricultural industry. We have the necessary knowledge and technology tie-ups with reputable institutions for a commercial scale, Malaysian specific micropropagation production capacity.
Tissue culture is a process of creating a new plant (clone) from a single cell, tissue, or plant organ. This is possible due to Totipotency, which is the ability to generate a whole plant from a single cell extract (known as explant). This potential was discovered by the scientists around 1950’s, where they were able to generate the whole plant from explant in a controlled environment. Tissue culture can be achieved under controlled aseptic conditions of light, temperature and humidity, where the explants are placed in a nutrient medium and incubated. The nutrient medium provides the necessary macro and micro nutrients, vitamins, amino acids and growth regulators.
Some of the key applications for plant tissue culture includes: research and development of high-quality plants, commercial production of plants for agricultural & ornamental applications and also rescue of endangered plant species. The key benefits of tissue culture in agricultural industry is as below:
- Micropropagation of plants, where large scales can be achieved in short durations. It is common to use tissue culture to commercially produce many important food plants such as banana, apple, tomato, palm oil, eggplant, pineapple, etc. It is an effective way for developing countries to mass produce disease free, quality and uniform plants, which is a necessary element for food security.
- Tissue culture can also be used to recover healthy plants from diseased plants, where usually the core of the plant (meristem) is free from the disease. Explants from these can be used to produce healthy plants.
- Plants produced from micropropagation are also able grow quicker, have shorter and uniform harvesting cycles, with higher yields as well.
Plant tissue culture is a straightforward technique and many developing countries have already mastered it. Its application only requires a sterile workplace, nursery, and green house, and trained manpower. However, tissue culture is labor intensive, time consuming, and can be costly in aspects of manpower. In Asian context, some of the key examples of successful usage of this technology is as below:
- Thailand: tissue culture is used to reproduce slow-growing and environment-sensitive orchids. Currently, Thailand is the leader in tissue culture in Southeast Asia, producing 50 million plantlets a year. Most of these are orchids, which have helped the country become the biggest exporter of whole and cut orchids in the world.
- Philippines: tissue culture is used as method to produce virus free mass propagation of banana, which used to have viral diseases such as banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) and banana bract mosaic virus (BBrMV).
Uniform plants .. Uniform results