Biotechnology Laboratory producing protocols for Banana Tissue Culture established
The School of Agricultural sciences has established a good Biotechnology laboratory which has produced many protocols (recipes) for banana tissue culture production; most of the protocols used in tissue culture banana in the region were developed by the Department of Crop Science. Tissue culture is the growing of plants from single cells. This technique has enabled the production of clean planting material (without diseases) and their quick multiplication. Use of clean planting materials has resulted in over 40% increase in yield of most of the vegetatively propagated plants like cassava, sweet potato, banana etc.
The school has also developed molecular diagnostic tools for a number of diseases including banana bacterial wilt, sweet potato viral disease, cassava brown streak, passion fruit woodiness virus etc. Correct diagnosis is always the first step in successful management of any disease problem.
The Molecular diagnostic tools are based on the use of DNA of the disease causing organism. Therefore the tools are important for a number of reasons:-
- They are highly specific, accurate, and sensitive and timely which helps scientist to develop the right control techniques in a relatively short time.
The tools help in supplying clean planting materials and stop the spread of diseases. For example the diagnostic tools can be used to ensure that the suckers of banana to be planted do not have banana bacterial wilt diseases.