Presently tissue culture based research work is focused on banana and yam. However, other fields of TC such as in-vitro propagation, virus indexing, etc. are being carried out for all clonally propagated crops of IITA including cassava.
Plant tissue culture involves growing plant cells, tissues or organs in artificial nutrient media under sterile conditions in a controlled growth environment and it is widely used in plant science research with several commercial applications. At the IITA Bioscience Centre’s plant tissue culture facility, various tissue culture techniques are utilized for micropropagation and In vitro pre-breeding of vegetatively propagated crops. Embryo rescue is being used to increase the progeny from crosses where seeds are difficult to germinate. Anther/ovule culture is also being explored to generate haploid plants for the production of doubled haploids. In vitro polyploid induction using anti mitotic agents is employed for the conversion of banana/plantain diploids to tetraploids for use in the breeding program. Particularly for banana/plantain which has a very low propagation rate (5-10 suckers per year), micropropagation offers a rapid means of generating ‘clean’ plantlets (over 1000 plantlets from a single shoot tip in 8 months) (Pillay et al. 2011). Tissue culture techniques are also useful for genetic transformations; a method used for incorporating traits into the breeding populations, when such traits are not available in the genetic resources pool of the crop. At IITA, transgenic technologies are used in the improvement of vegetatively propagated crops (Tripathi, 2012). The tissue culture facility is also backed by a cell biology facility for microscopy, cytogenetics and physiology research.
Equipment and Facilities
- Conservation rooms:
- Transfer rooms:
- Washing room
- Media preparation/sterilizing room
- Laminar flow hood (x2 workstations)
- Laminar flow hoods (x1 workstation)
- Plant growth Cabinets
- Weighing balance
- PH meters
- Magnetic stirrers
- Microwave oven
- Equipment’s dryer