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Plant Tissue Culture

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A planned initiative from a small-scale entity could help establish a large-scale unit in manufacturing of plant tissue culture

If you want to produce plants when a conducive climatic condition is not available, what would you do? Which process will help you if you want to genetically modify the productive properties of a plant?

Do you deem it possible to produce plants that are free from viruses and infection? The answers to all these questions lie in a technique called plant tissue culture (PTC). It is also known as micropropagation when it is used for propagating crop plants.

While we talked about this technique with technical experts and companies involved in this business, we found out that PTC has good prospects for business of various crops, apart from specific and patented breeds of different plants.

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What is plant tissue culture (PTC)?
Put in a simple term, plant tissue culture is a technique that helps regenerating a whole plant from a small tissue or a cell. This is achieved in a suitable culture medium under controlled environmental conditions. The outstanding advantage of PTC is that a plant can be developed from any part of the mother plant. However, when it comes to micropropagation for crops, meristematic tissue such as shoot tip is considered to be ideal. There are various plants and crops that can be propagated through PTC, but they often require different culture mediums and also different environmental conditions.

Nowadays, PTC is used on various types of fruits, flowers, medicinal plants and even trees. Here are some examples:

Fruits: Banana, pineapple, strawberry
Cash crops:
Sugarcane, potato
Spices:
Turmeric, ginger, vanilla, large cardamom, small cardamom
Medicinal plants: Aloe vera, geranium, stevia, patchouli, neem
Woody plants (trees): Teak, bamboo, eucalyptus, populus

Benefits of PTC
Rapid multiplication of plants
Limited requirement of mother plants
Uniformity of properties among the planting material
Disease-free planting material
Increased productivity
Non-dependence on environmental conditions

Business model
M. Thomas Jacob, President and CEO of LJ International, mentioned that a company involved in PTC can work on two fronts of business.

The first one includes catering to individual breeders who want their patented or particular species propagated. Many individual breeders from foreign countries provide the mother plant or the specimen to the companies and the copmanies propagate it. The mother plant or specimen is patented in the name of the individual breeders and it can’t be used by the company to sell to other customers. In case of LJ International, the company exports 90 percent of its production to customers in different countries.

On the second front, the companies will be asked to produce the mother plant also and then propagate it. In this scenario, the specie of the plant might not be patented by the individual breeders.

Apart from this, the companies can modify the properties of a specie that is not patented and launch the new specie in the market. The customers for this model could be plant breeders in foreign lands, agricultural departments and even farmers.

Market scenario
Dr. Shiv Kant Shukla, Dy. Manager, Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) mentioned that India has a production capacity of 300 million plants per annum, of which around 70 percent is actually produced. According to Shukla, by conservative measures, the market size is estimated to be more than Rs 200 crore with an annual growth of 20 percent.

Indian laboratories and companies currently cater mostly to international markets. However, with increasing awareness about the advantages of tissue culture raised plants, such as improvement in yield and quality; there is a noticeable increase in the domestic consumption as well. The major domestic consumers of tissue culture raised plants include the State Agriculture Department, agri-export zones (AEZs), Spice Board, the sugar industry and private farmers. Apart from this, the paper industry, medicinal plant industry and state forest departments also constitute this market.

Establishing a a commercial unit
It is desirable to have a unit located in a moderated climate condition, because PTC is done under controlled climatic conditions, and extremity of environment adds to maintenance costs. An uninterrupted supply of water and power is also desirable.

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In terms of space and infrastructure, there are some areas that are indispensable in a unit:

  1. The most important work area is the inoculation room where the core activity takes place. It needs to be as clean as possible with minimal air disturbance.
  2. After this, the growth room or the culture room is an equally important area where plant cultures are maintained under controlled environmental conditions to achieve optimal growth. As there would be varieties of plants that would require different culture conditions, it is often advisable that there are more than one growth rooms.
  3. Then comes the washing and media preparation room where the culture would be prepared. The glassware washing area should be located near the sterilization room. Minimum number of doors and windows should be provided in this room.
  4. A separate area for the storage of chemicals, apparatus and equipments is also important for a manufacturing unit.

Financial considerations
The major challenge in starting a new PTC unit is the capital. The cost of establishing a commercial PTC unit is largely dependent on the production capacity of plants that the company intends to produce. For instance, a unit producing eight to ten million plants a year will ask for a capital of around Rs 5 crore.

For entrepreneurs who want to start on a smaller scale, setting up a hardening unit for secondary hardening process is a good option. Procurement of primary hardened tissue culture plantlets from established micropropagation units and undertaking secondary hardening would be an option that new entrepreneurs can adopt. As the business grows, they can increase their functions and establish a full-fledged micropropagation unit. According to a report prepared by BCIL, a secondary hardening unit with a capacity of three lakh plants per annum would have finance requirements of Rs10 to 20 lakh for fixed assets and Rs16 to 20 lakh for recurring costs per annum.

M. Thomas Jacob, President and CEO , LJ International
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What services does your company provide for tissue culture?
We provide contract production of customized patented varieties, initiation services to introduce elite mother plants into cultures, development of protocols for micropropagation of new products, and training of man power.

What are your target markets, both domestic and international?
Our PTC products are exported to countries like Columbia, Ecuador, USA, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and China, etc. We export 90 percent of our production to different countries.

What is the scope of business in plant tissue culture for Indian companies?
Plant tissue culture finds wide application in agriculture-related business and can be used effectively to mass produce elite clones of a variety of plants where other forms of propagation are not viable. As plants are produced in controlled conditions, production is not dependent on climatic condition. PTC is mainly used in the floriculture industry, but can also be used effectively in forestry and for propagating medicinal plants, etc.

At the same time, a good number of state and central financial assistance schemes are offered to encourage entrepreneurs in taking up this business. Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), National Horticulture Board (NHB), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC) are bodies that provide central financial assistance. Apart from this, individual states and financial institutes also offer schemes.

Need for certification
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India has established a National Certification System for Tissue Culture Raised Plants (NCSTCP). This certification ensures that laboratories or manufacturing units are producing quality planting material through virus diagnosis and genetic fidelity testing. This certification also ensures that tissue culture raised plants are free from viruses and other fastidious pathogen and also that the tissue culture raised plants are true to the type.

From a business point of view, this certification ensures that the products and services of a unit have a wider appeal. Government bodies and departments do not use products from a company that has not been certified by NCSPTC system.

For more details about the procedure and guidelines of this certification, check this link: http://bit.ly/3dVFM8.

A bright future
With an estimated market growth of around 20 percent per annum, the future of PTC seems bright. More research and focus on developing technologies for cash-crops, medicinal plants and commercial plants can open the market to wider prospects.

As recommended by BCIL, collaboration and networking closely with research institutes would ensure that the manufacturing units are abreast with new technologies and changing trends.

Comments (31)Add Comment
need suport
written by new in this field, August 16, 2011
im intrested in this subject try to create my work in palm, so who can do in this field contacet me to my e mail to study with
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to start PTC as business
written by Ashish kathuria, June 14, 2011
We wish to take this opportunity to introduce our
selves as one of the commercial plant tissue culture laboratories in NORTH INDIA (Specifically in Punjab State) can u tell me which kind of PTC should we adopt and what will be the feasibility to work out as a business. and what will be the investment as captal, working capital, running cost. what will be the outcome profit ratio ?
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prop
written by mahesh bhagat, June 12, 2011
we have excellent plant tissue culture plastic ware in very economic prices
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biotrechnologist
written by arun kumar.k, June 08, 2011
Dear all,
this arun kumar.k from hyd. im going to recruit technical persons for my commercial level banana (1.5 million production) for that i need some experienced and good skills with production plans and management peoples in commercial lab production any body will have interested please send their cv's r contact to this number 9985849944
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Need PTC Lab Details
written by Rafiq Yusuf, April 25, 2011
Hi There,
I am iterested in buying PTC Teak plantlets of NC21.
Could someone provide contact details of a good lab who can supply the same.
My mbl is 9892677525..email-rajimpexx@rediffmail.com.
Hope to hear from somebody very soon.
Best Regards n Thankyou.
Rafiq Yusuf
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about ptc lab
written by suvarna.B, April 21, 2011
sir/madam
i completed my Msc biotechnology presently i am working in the field of Animal cell culture & i am interested to become an enterpreneur in ptc field so i need financial support so please kindly inform me about from where i can get financial support & also suggestion for cnstructing a good ptc lab
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Govt. assistance for establishment of Tissue Culture Laboratories in Maharashtra
written by vijay kolekar, March 21, 2011
Govt. assistance is available for establishment of Tissue Culture Laboratories in Maharashtra under National Horticulture Mission.
Assistance is to the tune of 50% of the project cost which is estimated as Rs. 100.00 Lakh .
The project should be credit linked & the assistance is in the form of Back ended subsidy.
For more details you may contact Maharashtra State Horticulture & Medicinal Plant Board, Pune
email: mshmpb_pune@rediffmail.com.
One may visit website : www.nhm.nic.in for horticulture related projects.
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msc microbiology
written by iliyaz.sk, March 15, 2011
sir i want to start a small scale company in tissue culture iam now residing in the hot climatic conditions.is it possible to start a company in this climatic conditions and how much expensive it is to start a company
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Plant tissue culture
written by Kunjabihari Panda, February 04, 2011
Dear sir,
I am a MSc biotechnology student and i have undergone an honors program in plant tissue culture so now i am interested to built my career and for that i want to set up a commercial PTC lab. And i got information that DBT provides some Enterprenurship on that so i request you please give me the details about that or else if it can be done through any other means. please consider my request and help me out.
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trainig course at plant tissue culture
written by subir, February 03, 2011
is there any plant tisue culture course at kokkata
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Appeal
written by Harish Dhondiyal, January 12, 2011
Help needed for society working for old aged and disabled in Uttrakhand INDIA. Hem Memorial Society is a registered society having Pan Card, 12A & 80G certificates. Want to build an Old Age Home for helpless and needy. Land available. Want to help/donate? Contact Secretary at hdhondiyal(at)gmail(dot)com
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Plant tissue culture
written by Hemal Patel, November 24, 2010

my self Hemal Patel .i completd my B.E Biotech.now i am working in a biotech company .but i want to make my own bussiness.like plant tissue culture.so i want to help from your side.can you help me to establish a ptc lab or you are intrested to make a palnt in gujrat ?
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Date Palm
written by Atul R.Patwardhan, November 21, 2010
Who can provide Protocol for Date Palm propogation by using Organogenesis Technique.Please guide.Please communicate on chintamaniconsultancy@gmail.com
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Indian culture
written by Illeana, November 10, 2010
"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!"
Mark Twain
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...
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Request for Advice
written by Biplab Shome , August 22, 2010
Sir,
I m from remote North-East India (Tripura). Advice me if I wish to set up a project related to hardening the plants, propagated by PTC. Is there any market in North-East ?
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...
written by Omar, August 14, 2010
Please Email us in This add:

libtata@gmail.com
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Date Palm Tissue Plant Lab
written by Omar, August 14, 2010
Dear Sir,,,

I am planning to have a Tissue Culture Laboratory and specializing in the production of Date Palm Tissue Culture Plants on a commercial scale.
As you might heard, a large part of the North African date trees was effected by the Biyood disease. Thus, the aim of this project is to provide the local market with a share of the palm date that destroyed because of that.
I would be very thankful if you kindly send me information that help me to start my project.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Dr. Osama Geryanii
Tripoli Libya
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IPA for PTC Labs
written by Biju Thomas, August 13, 2010
Dear Sir/Madam,

We supply sealed barrels of IPA(Isopropyl Alcohol) used in Tissue Culture Labs at reasonable price with very good quality. Right now we are supplying to good no of labs on a regular basis in India. This product does not carry any bad smell and that the operators can perform their functions smoothly. If you would like to get a free sample for test and approval please do call on: Metal Connect, Bangalore +91 9886070793, 080 41607661
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commercial plant tissue culture
written by Bala krsihna reddy, July 31, 2010
I am an plant molecular biologist having immense knowledge in plant tissue culture and raising transgenic and working business plans on bringing commercially important crops which are to meet indian unseasonal, food inflation and population demands present and future.
If any one have the same kind of visionary in long run in this segment of moving ahead of opportunistic future.
You can contact me over my mail: foodit.in@gmail.com
---EARTH IS OUR SWEET HOME LETS PROTECT--
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student B.Tech Biotechnology
written by ajay shankar, July 25, 2010
this article helped me to find out actually plant tissue culture is broad field.
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to construct a new ptc lab.
written by subhadeep, May 21, 2010
Sir, i am a student of biotech, i want to construct a lab in my home towne in west bengal. what are the basic things i need to do?

please reply me..
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air jordan shoes
written by air jordan shoes, May 14, 2010
Your article is very good, I am interested in
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new tc lab from india
written by Dr.Rajan, May 11, 2010

Mericlone Biotechnologies 11th May, 2010
Bangalore
India.



Sub: Introduction

Dear Sir:

Greetings from India. We wish to take this opportunity to introduce our
selves as one of the commercial plant tissue culture laboratories in
India. It is run by technocrats who are well qualified and experienced
in commercial as well as in R&D in PTC. Our aim is to make an
ineffaceable name in commercial PTC through quality, R&D and
competitive price.

Presently we are sending our products to our clients in east Africa and
in Europe. We will be happy to do contract production or sell our
products to your esteemed organization. We assure you of best quality,
consistent & timely delivery and competitive price. If you have any
requirements kindly contact us, we will be very happy to assist you.

Hoping to get a positive reply from you.

With warm regards,

Dr. Rajan
Mericlone Biotechnologies
Bangalore, India
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Project Plant tissue Culture
written by MULNIVASI MUKTI MANCH, May 08, 2010
We are tribal people running NGO in remote tribal aereas. Kinly advice how to start project on the subject in tribal areas. To whome we should contact or any application to be filled in and to whome to be sumitted.

To be excused for question.
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...
written by DINKAR S. JAYALE, March 17, 2010
gud mor ...
sir... pls give me information about .which type of financial help if i constuct plant tissue culture lab
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Regarding Tissue Culture
written by Prabuddh Mishra, March 16, 2010
Dear sir ,

Its a good artical , I would like to share here that at NRDC we have a technology of low cost plant tissue culture medium ,as the chemical cost is the major expenditure in tissue culture .
You can contact :
pmishra@nrdc.in
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what plant should we grow?
written by likitha, March 10, 2010
am a student of final year biotech, i want to construct a lab of my own. what are the basic things i need to do?
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Scientist/plant tissue culturist
written by Humphrey Saese, March 09, 2010
We are looking to import tissue cultured cardamon plantlets for our local industry. Please provide volumes that can be supplied and the price in rps
regards
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information sugarcane motherplant
written by djudjuk triwardani, February 08, 2010
sir, we requierd sugarcane motherplant for do multification on my lab at Indonesian,pls send the detail varietas of sugarcane that compatible with our land or climite and detail costs
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...
written by Rha,makrishnan bv, February 03, 2010
Sir, We required the Pineapple mother plant bulk or developed one for the cultivation in our land at kolli hills.
Pl send the details cost of the plant(mother plant)
Contact Rhamakrishnan bv +91 94905 60333 / +91 93459 31966
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