I felt compelled to reply to this topic as I work for a TC lab. A lot of answers from the members made sense, but I am summarizing them:
- Can any banana species be propagated thru Tissue Culture ? Forget about disease etc.
Yes! As a matter of fact, Sun Agrigenetics produces an endemic variety of banana called HILL BANANA which is cold hardy, and grown in NE states only. Banana is (relatively) easy to cultivate through tissue culture, but some varieties are easier to grow than others.
The reason why Grand Naine and Williams are favored the world over, is because of their resistance to Panama disease and fruit characteristics such as good keeping quality, yield, fruit shape and length etc. As most farmers, traders and exporters prefer this variety as it has a large market, most TC labs produce these varieties only. However, many TC labs are now producing other varieties such as Elaichi, Nendran etc, when they have a sufficiently large order to cater to.
The reason TC labs produce special varieties only when there is a sizeable order of about 50,000 to 1,00,000 plants, is because the costs involved with production of plants by TC is very high, and large volumes ensure a reasonable price to both Lab and buyer
2. Similar to Banana , can any plants be propagated thru Tissue culture. If so why we don’t have other plants, if not why so and only some are under TC??
For two reasons:
One reason is viability. Most plants are produced through seeds and cutting/grafting which is a cheap and affordable way of propagation. Only plants that cannot be successfully produced through these methods are tissue cultured or micropropagated. Also certain types of plants such as woody plants are harder to propagate such as Teak, Sandalwood etc
Another reason is desired traits of plants.When elite plants having desired qualities like disease free, high yield etc are available, then TC can produce millions of uniformly growing plants which are exact copies of the elite plant. Our company produces Lemon, Fig, Parval, Tindora, Pineapple, Sweet potato and few other plants through tissue culture. So there are companies producing plants other than banana through TC!!!
3. What is the main criterion for the Tissue Culture Propagation ??
I think my above answers explain this, but if you want more information you can read about tissue culture on the NCSTCP website which is a govt body. Also, you can get a little more information on TC plants on our company site. TC kits are available through many online retailers like mi hydro for enthusiasts, and with some effort and right science you could custom produce native plants
Good luck TC’ing!!!