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• About the consortium

About the consortium

The Department has supported a major Programme on Plant Tissue Culture with the main objective of developing protocols for regeneration of economically important plant species covering Forest Trees, Horticulture and Plantation Crops. Under the Micropropagation Research and Technology Development a Consortium has been formed which has the two Micropropagation Technology Park’s as nodal centres. The R&D projects are networked for supply of TC protocols. The regional hardening facilities help in technology and high quality product dissemination at state / region level. The National Facility for Virus Diagnosis and Quality control is the service facility for testing and certification of plants.

Research & Development

The thrust of the programmes during the 9th Plan in the area of forestry, horticulture and floriculture crops has been on protocol development for micropropagation and regeneration of important species through tissue culture, perfecting the regeneration and cell culture system of important species for further studies molecular biology using plant tissue culture as a tool for improvement of species, augmentation of secondary metabolite and somatic embryogenesis, somoclonal variation for enrichment of genetic diversity. Development of large scale production technologies was supported to enable transfer of technology from lab to land.

R&D projects were also supported for studying the genetic variation of micropropagated plants using molecular markers land related tools. For certain identified priority species such as mango, coffee, tea and spices network projects were supported for application of biotechnological tools for crop improvement.


Hardening Units

One of the main bottlenecks faced in the large-scale multiplication of forest trees and other plants through tissue culture especially in view of their specific requirements related to the different agro climatic regions is the Hardening Procedure. In order to tackle these issues effectively, the Department took up as a priority the objective of supporting smaller hardening units catering the requirement of the specific agro climatic regions. Six regional hardening units have been established at:
1. Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur.
2. Haryana Council of S&T, HISSAR, Haryana
3. G B Pant Instt. of Himalayan Env. & Devpt., Almora.
4. West Bengal Council of Science & Technology, Calcutta
5. Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu
6. The Energy and Resource Institute, Guwahati.


Micropropagation Technology Parks (MTPs)

During the ninth plan, the Department supported two Micropropagation Technology Parks (MTPs) at TERI, New Delhi and NCL, Pune with the objective of providing an effective platform for transfer proven tissue culture technologies to the user agencies and entrepreneurs and acting as an interface between research institutes and industry for faster commercialization of the micropropagation technologies.
In view of the tremendous success achieved at the two Tissue Culture Pilot Plants in terms of plantlet production and field evaluation, an urgent need has been felt to promote the commercialization of the Plant Tissue Culture Technology. The protocols developed by various research groups and standardized by the two Tissue Culture Pilot Plants and hardening units were of commercial importance and it was felt that there is a need to set up a platform to make this available to the Tissue culture industries/ entrepreneurs. In view of the existing expertise available at the two TCPPs, these TCPPs were converted to Micropropagation Technology Parks. The two MTPs have been established as an effective platform for transfer of proven technologies to the industries/entrepreneurs.


National Facility for Virus Diagnosis and Quality Control of Tissue Culture raised Plants

One of the main advantages of Tissue Culture raised plants is the production of disease free true-to-type planting material. This is however possible only if a proper protocol has been adopted. It is therefore very necessary that the planting material produced through tissue culture is certified before being distributed for plantation. This is an essential requirement for the commercial production of plants. To facilitate this objective, the Department has set up a National facility for Virus Diagnosis and Quality Control of Tissue Culture raised plants. The main facility is at IARI, New Delhi and has 5 satellite centres catering to the needs of Horticultural and Floricultural Crops and Forest trees. The facility functions in a network manner and each centre has its defined role and responsibilities. The virus indexing is being done for known and unknown pathogens. Diagnostic kits are being developed. The planting material will be indexed and certified for the industry and certified.

The quality control specially of the forest trees is being certified using molecular markers and DNA fingerprinting techniques. The genetic fidelity of the TC plants will be tested vis-a-vis the mother plants. This facility is aimed at providing necessary support to the industry and other research institutes / organisation involved in large scale production of tissue culture plants.

Consortium on Micropropagation Research and Technology Development

The entire activity of the Hardening Units, National Facility for Virus Diagnosis and Micropropagation Technology Parks has now been brought under the common network i.e. CMRTD with an aim to promote wider adoption and adaption of this technology specially at the grass root level and also to promote commercialization of this technology both for domestic and export market.

During the Tenth Plan, support is being provided to both the MTPs for conducting need based research on priority species and for demonstrating the profitability of this technology at grass root level. There is a strong industry interaction component which is fully supported and financed by industry entrepreneur/ user agencies.