What are the advantages of tissue culture methods over conventional method of plant breeding in crop improvement programmes ?
The advantages of tissue culture methods are:
By application of these methods it is possible to achieve propagation of a large number of plants in very short durations. This method of producing thousands of plants through tissue culture is called micro-propagation. Each of these plants will be genetically identical to the original plant from which they were grown, i.e., they are somaclones. Many important food plants like to njato, banana, apple, etc., have been produced on commercial scale using this method. Try to visit a tissue culture laboratory with your teacher to better understand and . appreciate the process. Another important application of the method is the recovery of healthy plants from diseased plants. Although the plant is infected with a virus, the meristem (apical and axillary) is free of virus. Hence, one can remove the meristem and grow it in vitro to obtain virus-free plants. Scientists have succeeded in culturing meristems of banana, sugarcane, potato, etc.