|Title:||The Role of Biotechnology in Exploiting and Using Plant Germplasm||Authors:||Edward Charles Cocking||Issue Date:||Aug-1994||Publisher:||農業試驗所||Related Publication(s):||農業試驗所特刊第46號||Start page/Pages:||101-110||Source:||Plant Germplasm Conservation: Perspectives for the 2000s||Conference:||Plant Germplasm Conservation: Perspectives for the 2000s
Following the inauguration of this National Plant Genetic Resources Centre, it is particularly timely to assess the role of biotechnology in relation to plant genetic resources conservation now and into the next century. Biotechnology needs access to plant germplasm to enable the desired novel plants and plant products to te produced; conversely plant genetic resources can often greatly benefit from the procedures used in biotechnology. Plant germplasm conservation is central to the strategies, particularly of Developing Countries, with regard to the acquisition and development of plant biotechnology built upon their indigenous capacity fortified by links with the CGIAR system and affiliated centres.
Progressively, the techniques of biotechnology are being applied to the major crops of the world, including wheat, maize, rice, potato, barley, cassava, soybean, sorghum, sugarcane, banana, tomato, cabbage, beans and mango. These techniques range from the relatively simple procedures associated with micropropagation to cell manipulations, coupled with plant regeneration from cultured plant cells and tissues. Cell manipulations centre upon the transfer of genes not only between sexually isolated plant species by protoplast fusion procedures, but also the transfer of genes directly into plant protoplasts, cells and tissues from other plant species, microorganisms or animal cells. The extent to which plant germplasm is being exploited and used in plant biotechnology is well illustrated with reference to the world¡¦s most important cereal, rice, and to tomato. Micropropagation is now being increasingly used to conserve wild rice species, and protoplast fusion procedures coupled with the regeneration of rice plants from protoplasts are being used to produce a novel range of improved cytoplasmic and nuclear combinations, including those for cytoplasmic male-sterility, and stress tolerances such as salinity tolerance. Direct gene transfer is being used to transfer genes for enhanced insect and virus resistance. In tomato, plant regeneration from tissue cultures has been used to improve the sepctrum of germplasm, and protoplast fusion and plant regeneration from cultured cells used to facilitate gene flow from wild tomato species, with desirable features, into cultivated tomatoes. Overall biotechnology should not be viewed as a panacea for problems with existing germplasm but more as an oppotunity for the World to increase its biodiversity by accelerating and enabling novel germplasm production for the benefit of mankind.
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