EPTRI's 'Plant Tissue Culture' project a hit

Vishwas News

Hyderabad, April 9:Resurgence of interest towards alternative healthcare protocols, treatment options and herbal medicine has fuelled the demand for high yielding medicinal plants in the country.
Not to be left behind in the development of such varieties, city-based Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) has succeeded in creating eight medicinal plant varieties through tissue culture.
Consequently, EPTRI has sold more than 12,600 of these medicinal plants, with another 3,000 plants ready for dispatch. The tissue culture project of medicinal and aromatic plants was launched recently with an initial batch of 150 plants under the guidance of Director General B Kalyan Chakravarthy.
Worldwide, plant tissue culture, which is the process of growing plant cells and tissues in an artificial medium, is a tried and tested method that helps in raising the profile of medicinal plants. The technique also helps in creating high yielding varieties, which in turn augments quality of the produce.
Through tissue culture, EPTRI has developed 10 plant species, of which eight are medicinal while two have ornamental value. The plants developed include rose scented Geranium, Indian Wormwood, Southern Wood, Garden Rue, Red Aloe Vera, Stevia, Insulin Plant, Vitex (Vavilli) and ornamental plants Queen of Night or Brahmakamalam and Golden Bottle Brush.
Picking mother plant important
According to researchers, the vital part of the tissue culture technique is to identify the mother or parent plant, which is grown for the purpose of taking offsets and grow more quantity of the same plant. "It takes a lot of skill to observe, test and identify the healthiest plant among many. If the mother plant has any disease or virus, the whole batch will go waste," explains project faculty, K Vamsi Krishna.
The medicinal plants are developed in a greenhouse, where temperature and humidity are controlled by foggers or misters and polypropylene sheets. The green meshes provide a tailored amount of sunlight, as required by the plants being raised inside.
"It is crucial to protect the plants during initial stages. Even a slight contamination can damage an entire batch of plants," says C Jayanti, a senior scientist of the team. The medicinal plants project of EPTRI is led by division head Dr M Suneela.
Source: Vishwas News



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