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Tissue culture plants:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Biotechnology related issues.

 

Context:

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) recently conducted a webinar on “Export Promotion of Tissue Culture Plants such as Foliage, Live Plants, Cut Flowers, and Planting Material”.

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) accredited tissue culture laboratories spread across India participated in the Webinar.

 

What is plant tissue culture?

It is culturing plant seeds, organs, explants, tissues, cells, or protoplasts on a chemically defined synthetic nutrient media under sterile and controlled conditions of light, temperature, and humidity.

 

Advantages of plant tissue culture:

  • Quickly produce mature plants.
  • Allows them to be moved with greatly reduced chances of transmitting diseases, pests, and pathogens.
  • Storage of genetic plant material to safeguard native plant species.

 

India’s exports of tissue culture plants:

  • In 2020-2021, India’s exports of tissue culture plants stood at US USD 17.17 million, with the Netherlands accounting for around 50 per cent of the shipments.
  • The top ten countries importing tissue culture plants from India are the Netherlands, USA, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia and Nepal.

 

Issues and challenges faced by tissue culture plant laboratories:

  1. Increasing power costs.
  2. Low efficiency levels of the skilled workforce in the laboratories.
  3. Contamination issues in the laboratories.
  4. Cost of transportation of micro-propagated planting material.
  5. Lack of harmonization in the HS code of Indian planting material with other nations.
  6. Objections raised by the forest and quarantine departments to the export of live planting material.

 

How the government is encouraging the export of tissue culture plants?

APEDA is running a Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) to help laboratories upgrade themselves so as to produce export quality tissue culture planting material.

  • It also facilitates exports of tissue culture planting material to diversified countries through market development, market analysis and promotion and exhibition of tissue culture plants at international exhibitions and by participating in buyer-seller meets at different international forums.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about different types of Tissue Culture? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Plant tissue culture.
  2. Types.
  3. Benefits.
  4. Challenges.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with Plant Tissue Culture.

 

Q.5) Which of the following is/are the advantages of Plant tissue culture?

  1. Quickly produce mature plants.
  2. No risk of pest attacks.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None. 

Sources: the Hindu.