Growing Forest Bamboo: Developments and Challenges
8 Jul 2022

Growing Forest Bamboo: Developments and Challenges

Anjali Singh

Table of Contents

Bamboos are heavily in demand because of their versatile uses spanning many areas including construction, fishery, handicraft industry, and human consumption. It’s an important non-woody forestry product and one of the important plants in the world's agriculture system.


Bamboos are heavily in demand because of their versatile uses spanning many areas including construction, fishery, handicraft industry, and human consumption. It’s an important non-woody forestry product and one of the important plants in the world's agriculture system.

Bamboo belongs to the family of Bambusoideae. In total, the tree is distributed in around 18 million hectares across the ecosystem of different countries and regions of continents including America, Africa, and Asia with 75 genera and 1250 species.

The most popular edible bamboo species are Melocanna baccifera, Chimonobambusa callosa, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, and Bambusa tulda.

Overexploitation and rapid depletion of Bamboo resources endanger the existence of the species and its availability in near future. Thus micropropagation of the plant can be a magnificent approach. If not all, the technique can solve many challenges associated with growing Bamboo trees.

There are also conventional techniques to grow the plant, such as through seeds and vegetative parts. However, seeds of the plant are only available in a certain specific period, that too 2-3 times in a century. Also, the viability of the seeds is way too low.

Most commonly, Bamboo is grown using vegetative parts of the plants, such as rhizome and off-set planting, marcotting and layering, and branch and culm cuttings. However, they are bulky techniques, and most often there is a shortage of supply due to inadequate plantation of the Bamboo trees.

Therefore, tissue culture is the most preferred and effective approach of all the available techniques of Bamboo propagation.

In this article, we will learn about the progress made in the micropropagation of Bamboo trees and the current challenges in the area.

Developments in Micropropagation of Bamboo

In addition to producing sufficient planting material, the micropropagation technique also helps in the conservation of plant species.

Bamboo has been grown using a variety of tissue culture techniques, with the most commonly used somatic embryogenesis, using a zygotic embryo, seed, or seedling.

Use of juvenile explants for micropropagation

Here’re some findings from different situations on using the juvenile explants for micropropagation or embryo generation of Bamboo.

  • White’s basal medium has been found to be effective in Bambusa arundinacea and D. strictus.
  • Some scientists regularly used Murashige and Skoog's (1962) (MS) basal medium to culture B. arundinacea, Banksia nutans, and Dendrocalamus membranaceus Bambusa tulda.
  • Cytokinin especially 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) is effective in inducing shoot proliferation in B. arundinacea, Bambusa vulgaris and D. strictus, B. nutans and D. membranaceus, B. arundinacea and D. strictus, and Dendrocalamus hamiltonii.
  • Shoot proliferation induced in B. vulgaris, Dendrocalamus giganteus, and D. strictus can be achieved by using Adenine sulfate (Ads) in combination with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and gibberellic acid (GA3).

Use of mature explants for micropropagation

  • Tissue culture procedures of growing Bamboo in labs using mature explant are only limited to a few species.
  • Multiple shots can be achieved from 20 years old (or more) explant using BAP supplemented MS medium in B. arundinacea, Bambusa balcooa, Dutta Mudoi, and Borthakur, D. giganteus, D. hamiltonii, D. strictus, and B. vulgaris.
  • 15-20 year explant can be induced to form shoots using BAP and α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) fortified MS medium in D. hamiltonii.
  • Shoot multiplication in Boletus edulis can be achieved by using BAP, NAA, or TDZ and 2-4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2, 4-D) supplemented MS medium.
  • Multiple shoot formation can be achieved in Phyllostachys meyeri on Plant Preservative Mixture (PPM) enriched half strength of modified MS medium.

Challenges in Bamboo Micropropagation

Have a look at some of the existing challenges in propagating Bamboo using the tissue culture technique:

  • Culturing Bamboos by taking mature explants from the field growing plants arises many after problems, such as high contamination, insufficient multiplication, variability in sprouting of buds, and difficulty in rooting.
  • Micropropagation of Bamboos using juvenile explants such as seeds is very limited because the plant only produces copious amounts of seeds.
  • Bamboo plants cultured using explants, collected from the field, face issues in establishing phase and are prone to contamination from the endophytes (especially fungi). A better establishment can be attained by using compounds, such as lactic acid and low pH media.
  • Though somatic embryo is an efficient approach to growing Bamboos, there are several challenges associated with the technique, such as the efficiency of plantlet regeneration, induction and long-term maintenance of the embryologically competent callus, and the risk of genetic variability.
  • One other improvement area is handling somatic embryos in the liquid media and boosting their efficiency of conversion into a plant.
  • The factors involved in influencing rhizome formation in cultures are yet to be understood.

How is Plant Cell Technology Helping Culturists Worldwide In Their Tissue Culture Application?

Plant Cell Technology is helping tissue culturists around the world by providing unique and world-class products and services that smoothen their process. It has MS media, agar, gellan gum, Plant Preservative Mixture (PPM), culture vessels, Biocoupler (TM), and masks in its store to facilitate your processes.

And, that’s not it! Plant Cell Technology also offers consultation services to culturists of all sizes that help to get instant solutions to your tissue culture problems.

So, visit today and learn more about our products and services and how they help you excel in your tissue culture processes.

Happy Culturing!!

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