DATE PALM GENETIC DIVERSITY CONSERVATION FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION
The rapid loss of genetic diversity has become a major concern worldwide for the genetic improvement of crops for sustainable agriculture especially under the climate change. Moreover, events like rapid human population growth, industrialization, deforestation, and natural calamities, are some of the major factors in this loss. The conservation, distribution, and utilization of natural and induced genetic diversity have become essential by the establishment of gene/germplasm bank both at the national and international levels. In vitro conservation techniques such as cryopreservation and low temperature storage are being routinely used for genetic resources conservation of a wide range of crops including seed propagated and vegetatively propagated crops. Cold-storage is done at 4-5°C and has a major disadvantage of frequent subcultures of in vitro cultures; may run into a risk of contamination. This method is routinely used for seed storage by national and international gene banks, maintained by CGIAR institutes, e.g., International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Cryopreservation of genetic material is done in liquid nitrogen at -196°C on the long-term basis without going through frequent subcultures. In vitro cultures are suitable for cryo-storage, that includes somatic embryos, cell suspension, callus, and should be able to regenerate plants maintaining their genetic fidelity. In date palm, in vitro conservation work done is very limited. Nowadays, the date palm tissue culture system is well established via somatic embryogenesis and organogenesis, which is of course genotypic dependent on frequency of plant regeneration rate. Most commonly somatic embryogenic cultures have been used for cryo-storage of date palm genetic material.
Mohan Jain, S. (2010). DATE PALM GENETIC DIVERSITY CONSERVATION FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 882, 785-791
plant genetic diversity, cryopreservation, cold storage, gene bank