A tissue culture plant production facility has been developed at the School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), for the production of disease-free quality planting material for potato and high-value ornamental plants. The facility was inaugurated by Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, on May 25, 2023.
Dr. Gosal, in his address, reminisced how plant tissue culture was started in PAU in 1976 from a small laboratory. Now PAU has plant tissue culture laboratories specifically for research and commercial production. He elaborated on the benefits of tissue culture for large-scale multiplication of disease-free planting material of clonally propagated crops such as potato, sugarcane, mentha, strawberry, gerbera, etc., and its importance in the latest technologies such as genome editing. Dr. Gosal encouraged the students to work hard and do their jobs sincerely, and keep themselves abreast of the latest technologies as well as the historical perspective of their subject. He congratulated the School of Agricultural Biotechnology team of scientists and encouraged them to make such facilities available to students and researchers from other departments of the university.
Dr. Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research, emphasized the necessity and scope of plant tissue culture for generating disease-free planting material. "PAU has established a potato seed multiplication chain using tissue culture so that the disease-free seed of recently recommended potato varieties could reach the farmers' fields. New Tissue Culture Plant Production Facility will help to meet the immense demand for mini tubers of elite potato varieties by farmers and industries," he added. "Potato Tissue culture, in combination with aeroponics, holds immense opportunities for the popularization of new varieties in the shortest possible time. Tissue culture has vast application in the generation of elite planting material in high-value ornamental crops too."
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