Fruits

Micropropagation of fruit trees

Micropropagation is an artificial method for multiplying plants in a short duration, using tissue or cell culture techniques in a controlled environment. The method is widely used to produce clones, pathogen-free plants, mass production of plants, gene conservation, etc.

This is an artificial propagation process where plants are produced in vitro by asexual means of reproduction or by vegetative propagation. This process is very reliable because the new plants are genetically identical to the mother plant. Micropropagation is commonly used to increase the number of rare or endangered plant species.

Other benefits we can get from this technique are: increasing the number of species that are difficult to breed sexually (e.g. orchids) and increasing the number of plant species that have commercial demand such as fruit trees. The micropropagation procedure is used to treat large-scale industrial or commercial needs.

 

Steps to successful micropropagation

To perform the reproduction of fruit trees in vitro, it is necessary to follow a series of basic steps that will guarantee the success of the micropropagation. The main ones are:

  • Specific plant tissue (typically the apex of the undifferentiated shoot) is selected from a mother plant and sterilized.
  • The tissue sample (called an explant) is grown in a sterile nourishing agar gel.
  • The explant is treated with growth hormones (e.g., auxins) to stimulate the development of shoots and roots.
  • Growing shoots can be continuously divided and separated to form new samples (multiplication phase).
  • Once the root and shoot develop, the cloned plant can be transferred to the soil.

Micropropagation methods

This artificial process of production of seedlings and fruit trees involves 5 different methods: cultivation of meristem, culture of corns, culture of suspension, culture of embryos and cultures of protoplasts, then we will see what each of them consists of.

Cultivation of meristem

In meristem culture, meristematic tissues are used as an explant for planting purposes. Meristematic tissues are those that can continuously divide and produce new cells.

In this case, meristem tissue with some leaf primordia is placed in a suitable medium for the growth and development of plants. After a few weeks, a seedling of elongated roots is produced that when it reaches a considerable height, it is transferred to the ground.

Callus culture

With this system, the selected plant tissue is placed in an artificial culture medium until the callus is formed. They are then transferred to a growing medium containing plant growth regulators for the induction of adventitious organs. After a few weeks, a new seedling is gradually exposed to environmental conditions.

Suspension culture

This method involves the formation of a suspension by multiplying individual cells or aggregates when stirred in an aerated, sterile liquid medium. The two types of suspended cultivation include batch cultivation and continuous cultivation.

Embryo culture

This procedure involves the isolation of immature or mature embryos to be cultured in a suitable growth medium under favorable conditions. The zygotic embryo or seed is used as an explant and the presence of nourishing tissue, endosperm, ensures the correct development of the plant.

Protoplast cultures

In this method, the plant cell is isolated and grown in an appropriate medium to reform the cell wall and callus. Later, under suitable conditions, the cell develops a cell wall followed by an increase in cell division and cell differentiation and becomes a new plant.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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