Progeny obtained by vegetative propagation of a single plant or individual constitute a clone. Tissue culture also enables rapid clonal propagation of plants which is known as micropropagation. In India this method is used on a large scale for the production of ornamental plants and fruit trees, e.g., Banana. The prime aim of vegetative propagation is to produce progeny plants, which are identical in genotype with their parent plants, which may be achieved in the following ways:
Culture of either shoot-tip or nodal explants on a medium supplemented with, usually, a cytokinin and often an auxin. The cytokinin stimulates preexisting shoot buds present in the explants (apical meristems in shoot –tips and auxiliary buds in nodal explants) to develop into shoots. Each lea on a shoot has an auxiliary bud.
Excised shoot-tips of most orchids e.g., Cymbidium, Venda, Cattleya, etc produce round bodies similar to the protocorms formed by embryos during seed germination; these bodies are called protocorms. A shoot bud arising anywhere other than a leaf axil or a shoot tip is called adventitious shoot bud. They are produced in vivo in many plants like Begonia leaves, Phlox roots, etc. these are often used for conventional propagation of species like Begonia, Saintpaulia.
Somatic embryos have been used for micropropagation of several plant species, and in some species they are the only route available for this purpose like oil palm, date palms.
It is a bead of gel containing a somatic embryo, and the nutrients, growth regulator, pesticides, and antibiotics needed for the development of a complete plant let from the enclosed shoot bud.
To overcome the problems of low rates of transpiration, photosynthesis, and water, nutrient, CO2 uptake several photoautotrophic culture system for large-scale micropropagation have been developed.
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