In-vitro plant propagation: an effective tool for germplasm introduction and exchange for cassava improvement
More than 250 million Africans rely on the starchy root crop cassava (Manihot esculenta) as their staple source of calories. Cassava is vegetatively propagated; the planting materials are also source of spread of major cassava diseases and results from repeated use from season to season. In-vitro techniques can alleviate these problems. In-vitro techniques have been very useful in the transfer of exotic germplasm from latin America to Nigeria. Important advances have been obtained in research institutions for distribution and movement of germplasm especially for vegetatively propagated crops. However, the dissemination of these improved varieties is a huge challenge due to low multiplication in cassava. In-vitro technique is now being explored to disseminate these improved varieties by National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike. We report update of results obtained with the use of in-vitro method in germplasm transfer and improvement of cassava at National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike Nigeria. The paper also describes how this can be effectively utilized as a successful tool for germplasm development in crop improvement program.
Keywords: In-Vitro, Germination, Survival, Seeds, CIAT and NRCRI