29th Jun 2021
TISSUE CULTURE: THE OPPORTUNITY
Tissue culture has opened the door for the production of plants on an extensive scale. It has the capability to produce hundreds and millions of healthy plants for industrial use. And, there’s no surprise if its wide-ranging advantages and application led to the establishment of several small to large-scale industries working on micropropagation of plants.
The first commercial-scale application of tissue culture was to propagate horticulture plants. And, today a pile of literature is present on the protocol of tissue culture of specific plants and knowledge scattered around what one should do and avoid during the process.
The culturists all over the world saw tissue culture as a solution to all the challenges they face in conventional techniques. Well, this is partly true. Tissue culture does allow for the propagation of any plant, but, it itself comes with several other challenges that we will discuss in this article. The profit made by tissue culture propagation should be seen with an increase in the margin profit rather than the stagnant profit. So, let’s learn here what some literature covers about the causes of low profit in tissue culture commercialization.
Objectives of commercial micropropagation
Why are many people interested in the commercialization of tissue cultured plants? Well, culturists are looking for some cost-effective options that enhance their productivity and bear a hand in achieving their business goals. Here are some objectives of commercial propagation:
- Rapid, large-scale production of plants that are genetically identical, hybrids with choice of characteristics, selected mutants, and parent plants for F1-hybrid characteristics.
- Eradicate or eliminate any kind of pathogens and viruses from the plants.
- Establish in vitro mother stock plants that are disease-free.
- In vitro germplasm (any plant part containing genetic makeup of the plant) storage.
- Select induced and somaclonal variants.
- Produce plants round the year to meet peak demands.
Factors that might be affecting your tissue culture business
To accomplish their goals industrialists have to face several challenges and here are a few reasons that might be affecting your overall productivity at a commercial scale.
1. A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
Tissue culture is a part of applied science that requires some theoretical basis or practical working experiences before you hit into the field. It’s necessary to understand what might be going wrong with your cultures, what factors might be affecting the productivity, how plants are responding in the cultures, and how their growth can be mutated. So, contamination is not the only issue you should be concerned about!
Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose you are growing a pomegranate species in your culture. You collected, cut, and surface sterilized the explant and maintain a completely aseptic environment. You placed explants into jars and incubated them in the right condition.
But, after 2-3 weeks, you observe browning of the media and your explant, or you observe no growth at all, or your explant died. What’ll you do in these conditions until you know some basics or theory behind the phenomena or you have years of experience in the field.
So, now you know why the basics are important and why the theory on culturing plants, transferring, and maintaining them is essential to maintain high rates of plant production!
If you are looking for some courses, training, or any consulting services. Contact plant cell technology now! And, discover the possible solutions to your challenges.
2. AN INADEQUATE FACILITY
You must have read several articles and watched videos on how tissue culture experimentations can be performed at home using a few domestic materials. However, it’s not the same when it comes to growing plants on an industrial scale.
Large-scale micropropagation requires huge space to maintain hundreds and millions of plants that will be produced in labs. You will require all volumes of glassware, professional oven and autoclave, water distillation unit, analytical equipment, professional laminar flow hood and microscope, growing racks fitted with fluorescent light for the culture room, and multiple numbers of forceps, scalpel, and scissors. Further huge space is essential to acclimatize the large groups of plants and regularly monitor them for their better health.
To monitor productivity, it's necessary to equip your lap with all requirements and staff needs. For this purpose, you need to be financially strong and manage your finances wisely!
Visit the plant cell technology store now to explore all your tissue culture requirements at a reasonable cost.
3. PRODUCT QUALITY
Quality and customer satisfaction above all!
It’s a must followed phrase in successful businesses. If you want to maintain the values of your company, increase its popularity among customers, and win over your competitors, then you should focus on the quality of the products you sell!
Always ensure that plants are of high-quality and true-to-type. In some cultures, like banana and date palm culture, mutations or variability are not detected in the culture stage. And, irresponsible operations and selling of non-productive mutants may lead to financial loss and cases against your lab.
So, maintaining product quality is essential to run your commercial lab! To achieve this, you can pay attention to the details of processes such as cutting procedure, frequency of transfer, suitability of media, and control of the environment in the plant growth area.
4. HIGH COST OF COMMERCIAL PROPAGATION
The high cost of micropropagation is a serious limitation on the extension of tissue culture business to more crops. But, emphasizing on following topics can help you to reduce the micropropagation costs in the future:
- Reduced cost in multiplication phase
- Reduced cost in growth stage
- Reduced cost in greenhouse storage
- Reduced cost in the transfer of propagules to the field.
You can achieve these goals by using cheaper materials that maintain the quality of the cultures as well and do not hinder the growth of plants at any stages. Look for ways that are more efficient for the manipulation of plants in cultures and try to involve automated devices to save labor costs.
So, look for efficient ways to enhance the productivity of your culture and increase the profit margin. Decide your target market and plant strategic marketing to boost your reach to customers.
Written by: Anjali Singh
Anjali is a scientific content writer at PlantCellTecnology. She has joined the company in 2020 with her technical knowledge of tissue culture, a background in Plant Biotechnology, and research skills. Apart from writing educational articles for our tissue culture enthusiasts, she also helps them with their queries on the tissue culture processes.
Before joining PCT, she has worked with various other biotech industries as a Scientific content writer and holds good experience in laboratory work and research.
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