Vol.8 : Number 12
Molecular markers for genetic fidelity assay of tissue cultured crops

Author(s): Tribhuwan Kumar, Ravi Shankar Singh, Santosh Kumar, Awadhesh K Pal

Tissue culture techniques are being widely used for the production of large scale disease-free planting material aseptically on artificial media within a lesser span of time and space. This technique has gained tremendous popularity in recent days for the commercial production of several clonally propagated plants such as banana, bamboo, pointed guard, seed potato, strawberry, pineapple, papaya etc. Even in seed grown plants this technology has application in overcoming the barriers like dormancy, sexual compatibility, germination etc. But the major drawback of tissue culture raised plantlets is that they show somaclonal variation i.e. alteration in the genetic constitution of the plant leading to disappearance of true-to-type nature and resulting variants may not be desirable.  In such case, genetic fidelity test is mandatory to confirm the true-to-type genetic makeup of newly derived plantlets. Techniques have been used to ascertain the genetic fidelity of the in vitro raised progenies comprising morpho-physiological, biochemical and cytological approaches. These approaches are mainly based on phenotypic characters, which can be affected by the in vitro manipulation, environment and types of plant tissue; hence it is not easy to differentiate clonal fidelity with a high probability. In contrast, for similar purpose the DNA- based molecular markers are versatile tools with wider applicability in various fields of applied biology. These molecular markers have edge over traditional aforementioned non-DNA based markers with respect to environmental interaction, developmental stage, tissue, time and cost. This review paper contains different techniques of genetic fidelity assay to confirm the true-to-type genetic constitution in tissue culture raised crops.    

Key Words: DNA marker, Genetic fidelity, Somaclonal variation, Tissue culture 

Country: India