Micropropagation is the asexual or vegetative propagation of plants in vitro. This process consists of taking a small, specific part from a plant and using it to create another.
Micropropagation consists of 6 steps:
- Selection of plant material.
- Establish aseptic culture
- Shoot elongation
- Root induction/ formation
Why would we use this method? Well it has many benefits… Among the most important are: Rapid multiplication of plants, easy multiplication of species that would otherwise be troublesome, genetic uniformity, aseptic conditions, micro-stock plants, and a controlled environment. This is a process that is mostly used for genetic conservation and improvement and to test genetic modifications.
Although this is a very useful form of plant multiplication, there is one main disadvantage: because of the genetic uniformity, there is a possibility that all plants will be vulnerable to the same threats.
In our project, we would use micropropagation to multiply the plants while on the trip to mars and once we arrive, this is because plants may not be capable of normal propagation under different circumstances, an also, this is one of the main methods utilized to multiply strawberry plants because they don’t have seeds. We need this process to ensure we have enough strawberry plants to carry out our experiment.
Richard R. Williams, “Micropropagation” from University of Queensland. www.uq.edu.au/lcafs/presentations/ptc-3-micropropagation.ppt