Coimbatore, Sept 6 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here is making an innovative attempt for mass multiplication of 'elite coconut genotypes' through tissue culture to meet the demand for quality seedlings as well as to reduce the number of nuts going for seed purposes.
The initiative is supported by the Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiative of State Planning Commission and as a first step, the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in TNAU has optimised in vitro culturing of dissected embryo and regenerating them into whole plants, the university said on Sunday.
TNAU has brought its tissue culture baby on September 2 on the occasion of the World Coconut Day and planted the first tissue culture derived coconut at its Coconut Garden, a release said here.
The current multiplication ratio of 1:1 enables supply of only 30 per cent of the demand (3 to 3.5 million against 10 million seedlings demand) and the multiplication rate has to be increased to at least 1:20 without compromising on quality and genetic uniformity.
TNAU has brought its tissue culture baby on September 2 on the occasion of the World Coconut Day and planted the first tissue culture derived coconut at TNAU Coconut Garden, it said in a release here.
The demand for coconut has increased by 500 per cent in the last decade and this has widened the gap between supply and demand, the release said adding to meet the increasing demand of coconut and its products, the production and productivity had to be increased.
Establishing elite coconut gardens and rejuvenating the existing aged coconut orchards require quality seedlings elite coconut genotypes, the release said.
Globally, India ranks third in terms of coconut cultivation and production and Tamil Nadu ranks second next to Kerala.
Increased consumption of tender coconuts, increased use of coconut oil for culinary purposes and development of other industrial products from various parts of coconut trees and fruits necessitates significant increase in coconut production.
TNAU is channelising its efforts towards increasing the multiplication ratio up to 1:8 so as to meet the demands of the farmers in the state, the release said. PTI NVM VS VS