Tissue culture in the Pacific
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CTA. 1988. Tissue culture in the Pacific. Spore 16. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44878
Tissue Culture Workshop in Western Samoa, January 25-29 1988
Tissue culture is a method of propagating plants by taking a very small piece of the shoot tip, sterilizing it to rid it of bacteria and fungi and growing it in a sterile culture medium The technique was demonstrated at a Tissue Culture Workshop in Western Samoa, January 25-29 1988. The first of its kind in the region, it was organized by IRETA and sponsored by CTA. Taking breadfruit as an example, the participants, coming from Tuvalu, Fiji, Tonga, Western Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Nuie, were shown the techniques for the multiplication of plants, sterile handling techniques and how to care for and grow the plants on arrival and their subsequent transfer to the field while maintaining a high survival rate. In the South Pacific region tissue culture offers an advantage of vital agricultural importance in enabling the transfer of healthy plants from one country to another without the risk of carrying pathogens in the plant tissues. The tips of growing shoots are usually free of virus. Consequently, they can be used to produce thousands of tiny healthy plants from a few shoots. This is very important for the transfer of improved cultivars of breadfruit, sweet potato, taro or other crops from one country of the region to another. The technique makes transport easier and cheaper and cuts down the time required for quarantine procedures. Moreover the maintenance of collections of cultivars for breeding and export is easier using tissue culture techniques than keeping the mother plants in the field.