Plant Tissue Culture
The development of in vitro techniques for plant cell and tissue culture has generated numerous biotechnological applications, which have a significant impact on the fields of plant production, genetic improvement, preservation of plant genetic resources and biosynthesis of plant products of commercial interest.
In the horticultural area, one of the most widely used techniques is the generation of plants free of virus through meristem culture. In vegetative propagation species, the health of the starting material is essential to produce high-quality plants. In potato, sweet potato, garlic and strawberry, plants are generated every year from advanced clones with controlled health, and the new varieties obtained from breeding programs are multiplied.
As regards fruit trees, micropropagation protocols are developed, as massive propagation makes available to breeding programs a stock of plants that allow evaluation under identical conditions of clonal rootstocks of peach, apple, pear and native species.
In forest species, systems are being developed for in vitro multiplication to develop a stock of selected plants, mainly of eucalyptus, which are used for clonal trials in different regions of the country.
Other techniques were added to conventional techniques, contributing to the generation of variability and new materials in plant breeding programs. Protocols were developed to rescue embryos from interspecific crosses between selected species, for example, various forage species and different species of the genus Solanum.
The conservation of germplasm in vitro is an important activity in vegetative propagation species. We have an in vitro germplasm bank for sweet potato, potato and wild species such as S. commersonii, characterized by tolerance or susceptibility to the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum and by its high content of glycoalkaloids.
Culture media have been adjusted to make possible the preservation of species in the medium term, and also in the long term, e.g.: cryopreservation.