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How to produce quality tissue culture bamboo plants

News
9Jun

Madagascar readies itself to set up country’s first bamboo micro-tissue culture lab to boost bamboo sector.

The availability of quality bamboo – planting enough of the required species in required amounts – is one of the biggest constraints in bamboo development. In order to address this, INBAR’s project – South-South knowledge transfer strategies, co-funded by the EU and IFAD – includes an encouragement to produce quality planting material by setting up micro-tissue culture units.

Usually, setting up a tissue culture lab is an expensive affair. To make it affordable and to enable the participation of small and micro-scale entrepreneurs, the project had trial-tested and validated a micro tissue culture unit with a plant production capacity of 100,000 plants per annum in India. The laboratory is housed in a 20-foot container and will be able to produce plants of required species in quantity.

An intensive two-month training session on micro-tissue culture unit operation, maintenance and bamboo plant production was provided to Mrs. Ramarokoto Rasoloniaina Nomenjanaharizaka Irenée and Mrs. Raveloharison Rabenarivo Tsilavina Mbolatiana Joëlle, two technicians identified by INBAR and PROSPERER (INBAR’s partner in Madagascar).

The training was conducted at Sankar Biotech laboratory, Hosur, and the Centre for Indian Bamboo Resource and Technology, New Delhi. All aspects of tissue culture lab and bamboo plant production were covered, including washing, sterilisation of jars, medium preparation, transplanting of seedlings, primary and secondary hardening, and nursery management. “It has been a great opportunity for us to brush up our knowledge in tissue culture and learn new skills which we didn’t have earlier. After completing this training, I am now confident that I can go back to my country and carry out these tasks much better than before and can train others too,” said Irenee, a trainee technical expert from Madagascar.

“I can make medium, carry out initiation, multiplication, can monitor the progress and growth of each seedling and also recognize if there has been any contamination,” adds Joëlle, the second trainee, a technical expert from Madagascar. “We feel that we have been trained in all aspects that will allow us to achieve our future activity in Madagascar and we are thankful to INBAR for giving us this platform where south-south knowledge sharing was possible.”

In addition to the first hand laboratory experience, trainees learned how to harden and acclimatise bamboo saplings.

The self-contained container tissue culture lab, along with required tissue culture equipment, materials and consumables will be shipped from New Delhi, India, to Antananarivo, Madagascar, in June 2017, and will be hosted in Ambohikambana village. Land and additional infrastructure, including electricity, water, greenhouses and shade nets, is being organised by PROSPERER.

A detailed practical manual on the establishment, operation and maintenance of a tissue culture lab has been developed, which will work as a guidebook for tissue culture unit operation in Madagascar. Based on the trials, it is possible to have 17 cycles of tissue culture multiplication in one year, each with the capacity to produce 8400 plants. This will enable production of 100,000 quality bamboo plants per year which will give a tremendous boost to the bamboo sector development in Madagascar.