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Micropropagation is the technique for rapid multiplication of the selected plants within a short time period. The plants which have been raised in-vitro are delicate and cannot withstand the adverse conditions outside the laboratory . Such plants not only face stress above the soil, but also within the soil i.e. in its roots. The roots interact with the soil microorganisms which are beneficial for the plants in performing lots of functions like fixing of nitrogen, etc. However, when these micropropagules grown under sterile conditions are exposed to the field conditions they have reduced immunity to the soil microorganisms, increasing the plant mortality . The transfer of micropropagules to the field conditions and the acclimatization stage is the most important step to increase survival of the plants. This has led to an increased focus on environmental conditions during acclimatization such as light intensity, altering CO2 and sugar concentrations. Another biological approach to help plants acclimatize is to inoculate the plants with suitable microorganisms . The present work involves in-vitro raised plantlets of Musa paradisiaca which were treated with soil microorganisms during the ex-vitro transfer to check for plant acclimatization and analyze macro-nutrient as well as micro-nutrient composition. The bio-hardened plants showed improved growth in root and shoot length, increased inter node diameter area and number of leaf primordials and also showed an imporoved drought resistance than controls. Fidelity test was conducted for the treated plants so as to check for the changes in the genetic material due to these alterations. The micropropagated plants have better macro- and micro-nutrient composition but similar genetic content when compared to the control plants proved by the fidelity test.
Micropropagation, Plant acclimatization, Micronutrients, Macronutrients
It has been over a century since the first attempt at plant tissue culture by Haberlandt in 1902. Since then, several methods have been developed to produce plant tissues in-vitro. These techniques have become the popular means of plant vegetative propagation [4, 5]. Micropropagation or clonal propagation in-vitro, is one such method that has been exploited commercially. It is the method of propagating plants from callus, plant organ, a cell or protoplast cultures in sterile conditions . The plants that are vegetatively derived from other plants are just clones of the parent plant and have similar genetic content. Thus, micropropagation is the multiplication of individuals that are genetically identical to the parent plant. The advantage of micropropagation over other methods of tissue culture is the reduction in time for the growth of new individuals. The micropropagules thus cultured in-vitro, must then be transferred to the green house or exposed to field conditions. However during this transfer, the mortality rate among the micropropagules is very high as the plants now face various stress conditions such as higher intensity of light, lower humidity levels and soil microorganisms when compared to the sterile in vitro conditions . The success of micropropagation is dependent on increasing the survival rate of these cultured plants during the transfer, at minimum costs. To achieve this, the plants must undergo an acclimatization process which enables the plants to deal with this stress in field conditions. The acclimatization process helps the plant compete with the soil microorganisms and to deal with environmental conditions . The mortality of plants may be due to the in-vitro culture conditions which alter the morphology, physiology and anatomy of the cultured plants which results in non-functional stomata, poorly developed cuticle and weak root system . But it has been proved that treating the plants with certain symbiotic soil microorganisms help the plant in better absorption of nutrients from the surrounding environment, improves the drought resistance and disease.resistance of the plant thereby increasing the survival rate of propagated plants.
The aim of the current research paper is to culture plantlets of Musa paradisiaca and use a consortium of soil microorganisms to check the concentrations at which these symbionts helps to achieve maximum growth and survival of the plantlets. We have also conducted a macronutrient and micronutrient analysis of these plantlets to determine the physiological status of the plants. A fidelity test has also been carried out to compare the genetic material.
In conclusion we established a suitable composition of the soil bacteria in G.naine variety of banana through the hardening process. Our results indicate that the biologically hardened plants showed more growth than the control and the tissue cultured laboratory (AG Biotech), it was observed that the biologically treated plants had high amount of Macro and Micro nutrients which infers that the growth of the plant would be more and the yield of the crop also increases.
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