Research Highlight

Title:SEAWEED FLAKES AS GELLING AGENT AND LESSER VOLUME OF CULTURE MEDIA REDUCE COST OF TISSUECULTURED YAM SEEDLINGS
Commodity:Bulb and Root Crops
Generator:DMMMSU
Researchers:CC Villamor and MT Cardinez
Year Generated:2015
Highlights:

The underground and aerial tubers of the genus Dioscorea are traditionally vegetatively propagated by means of tuber setts.  The unavailability and restrictively high cost of good quality seed tubers are limiting factors in expanding yam production.  One method of producing healthy planting stock is by tissue culture.  This technique has been reported to be very effective for micropropagation.  However, this is costly,due mainly to high costs of media components, including the gelling agent.

 

Strategies in reducing the cost of micropropagation were employed through the use of alternative gelling agents and reducing the volume of media in micropropagation of yam.  Gracilaria and eucheuma seaweeds, which are abundantly growing along the coastal areas of the Ilocos were compared with that of the tissue culture grade powdered agar.  These seaweeds were used in the form of flakes.  An amount of 24g and 14g of gracilaria and eucheuma, respectively was placed in separate Erlenmeyer flasks containing 1 li culture media, then cooked with continuous stirring until media became clear.This was dispensed in culture vessels, cooled, then used as the semi-solid culture media.

 

Reducing the volume of media from the traditional practice of 20 ml/bottle to 10 ml was also done to reduce the cost of culture media without drastically affecting micropropagation of yam.

 

Highlights:

 

  • different gelling agents did not significantly affect the performance of yam cultures except on the number of roots and % leaves in the biomass.
  • Either gracilaria or eucheuma seaweed flakes can be a good substitute for TC grade agar, giving a reduced cost of gelling agents of about 61-67%. 
  • Reducing the volume of media by one-half reduced the cost of culture media by 50% without detrimental effects on the growth of cultures in vitro.