Advantages and Disadvantages of micro propagation with respect to commercialization

  • Clonal mass propagation – extremely large numbers of plants can be produced. Rather than getting 10000 plants per year from an initial cutting in vegetative propagation, one can obtain more than 1,000,000 plants per year from one initial explant through micropropagation. Hence, there is a huge scope for commercialization of most demanded horticultural crops.
  • Culture is initialized from small parts of plants – so no need of much space: from 1 m2 space in culture room, 20000 – 100000 plants can be produced per year.
  • Production of disease and virus free plantlets. This leads to simplification of international exchange of plants
  • Micropropagation enables growers to increase the production of plants that normally propagate very slowly such as Narcissus and other bulbous crops.
  • Introduction of disease free new cultivars is possible through micropropagation
  • Vegetative propagation of sterile hybrids can be used as parent plants for seed production. Eg. Cabbage
  • One of the rapid methods for cloning of disease free trees.
  • In vitro cultures can be stored for long time through cryopreservation.
  • Breeding cycle can be shortened. E.g. production of doubled haploid
  • Germplasm storage
  • Micropropagation may help in crop improvement program: e.g. selection for salt or drought tolerance using somaclonal variation.
  • CMS lines can be maintained using micropropagation
  • Micropropagation will be useful in production of somatic hybrids
  • Micropropagation can also be used to produce artificial seeds
  • Micropropagation will be employed to develop hybrids where incompatibility is a problem using embryo rescue.
  • In vitro grafting is one of the micropropagation techniques which is useful to get rid of virus or rooting problems.
  • Micropropagation can be used to generate in vitro mutants.

Disadvantages of micropropagation

  • Expensive laboratory equipment and service
  • No possibility of using mechanization
  • Plants are not autotrophic
  • Poor Acclimatization to the field is a common problem (hyperhydricity)
  • Risk of genetic changes if ‘de novo’ regeneration is used
  • Mass propagation cannot be done with all crops to date. In cereals much less success is achieved.
  • Regeneration is often not possible, especially with adult woody plant material.

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