The Role of Plant Tissue Culture to Supply Disease Free Planting Materials of Major Horticultural Crops in Ethiopia

Habtamu Tegen


Agricultural diversification to meet our future needs call for the adoption of new technologies in agriculture. Utilization of the best cultural practices, fertilization, pest control measures will not give the necessary results without the use of best planting material. Tissue culture has been significant role in producing disease free planting materials of vegetative propagated crops in horticulture industry of many countries. Among these crops potato, sweet potato, banana and citrus are the major crops being propagated intensively to produce disease free planting materials. Many research works have being conducted on the potential of in vitro plantlets over conventional one on productively per unit area particularly in horticultural crops. Almost all research results revealed that in vitro plantlets significantly perform better than conventional in terms of uniformity, earliness, yield, and quality due to free from disease load. The limiting factor of using in vitro plantlets from the point of view of farmers is the higher price of the material if compared to conventional and TC plants require additional care and improved management. Higher cost is justified by achieved high economic returns. In addition, the technology has created several employment opportunities and opened up many entrepreneurial fields. This industry has made available different unique commercial plant species such as ornamentals and foliages in large scale, which were not produced earlier by the conventional methods.

Keywords: Tissue culture, in vitro and plantlets.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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