Supply of superior quality tissue cultured plants of species in demand

Available at: MTP, TERI, Gual Pahari and MTP, NCL, Pune
As conventional methods of propagation are insufficient to meet the existing demand of planting material, large-scale in vitro multiplication at these facilities offers a major advantage. The plants produced here are disease-free, can be produced en masse and without any dependence on season. Also, superior genotypes (elites) with high yields/disease-resistance can be supplied by this facility.

 

Contractual research/production of plants on request by an individual or a company

Available at: MTP, TERI, Gual Pahari
All plant species are not regularly produced at the facility but protocols for the micropropagation of a large number of species are available. Plants can be produced on request from companies/individuals in desired quantities.

 

Inoculation of tissue cultured plantlets with efficient mycorrhizal strains, helping in better productivity and establishment of plants.

Available at: MTP, TERI, Gual Pahari
The survival rate and yield of plants raised by tissue culture is improved when mycorrhizae are applied; this service can be of great help to progressive farmers and private growers.

 

Aftercare of tissue cultured plants in the field provided to harness maximum gains

Available at: MTP, TERI, Gual Pahari
The planting material’s aftercare is of utmost importance to its survival and the MTP provides this information to its clients. However, if the need should arise, experts can provide solutions or even visit the field trial site.

 

Help to entrepreneurs in setting up laboratory/greenhouses, and transfer of technology for immediate execution.

Available at: MTP, TERI, Gual Pahari
This includes designing of the laboratory, selection, purchase and installation of the equipment, training of manpower, etc. For example, TERI has signed an agreement with the Forest Department of Tripura under which the former’s Micropropagation Technology Park will help the Tripura Forest Department set up a tissue culture facility in Agartala, Tripura. The project is being implemented virtually on a turnkey basis covering most aspects of production through tissue culture.

 

Support to the tissue culture industry for virus diagnosis of tissue cultured plants

National Facility for Virus Diagnosis and Quality Control of Tissue Culture Raised Plants
This involves testing of plants produced in vitro for the presence of viruses to ensure that only (a) virus-free mother plants are used for micropropagation, and (b) virus-free and quality-tested tissue culture plants are supplied to growers. This would minimize the risk of inadvertent introduction and subsequent spread of viruses thereby ensuring the quality of plants. This will be achieved by developing a virus diagnosis programme based upon biophysical, immunological, and molecular techniques. Careful indexing based on recent biotechnological methods such as immunoprobes, nucleic acid probes, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay would ensure phytosanitary safety during the movement of planting materials. The testing protocols will detect known viruses and unknown viruses. The viruses for which diagnostic probes (antibodies and cDNA probes) have been developed are known to infect plant species such as: banana, brinjal, cassava, citrus, frenchbean, garlic, gladioli, groundnut, mungbean, onion, rice, soybean, sugarcane, tobacco, tomato, urdbean, lily and some ornamental plants.

 

Quality testing of tissue culture raised plants for assuring clonal fidelity

National Facility for Virus Diagnosis and Quality Control of Tissue Culture raised Plants
In order to minimize the risk of introducing somaclonal variability, tissue culture-raised plants need to be thoroughly checked for their clonal character. Molecular testing ensures this quality. With the advent of the PCR technique and DNA-based molecular markers, expertise has been developed for the assessment of genetic diversity, phylo-genetic analysis, varietal typing and establishing the true-to-type of tissue cultured plants. Results have demonstrated that even though RFLP and RAPD markers are useful in studying both intra- and inter-specific variation, the extent of polymorphism generated by AFLP markers is several times higher. Hence, AFLPs may be the method of choice for discriminating very closely related genotypes (such as the micropropagated plants) as compared to other molecular markers.