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Rice Genomics and Genetics 2013, Vol. 4, No. 4, 14-27
Research Report
Open Access
Synthetic Seed of Rice: An Emerging Avenue of Applied Biotechnology
Bidhan Roy , Surje Dinesh Tulsiram
Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Regional Research Station, Terai Zone, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, Cooch Behar 736165, West
Bengal, India
Corresponding author email:
Rice Genomics and Genetics, 2013, Vol.4, No.4 doi: 10.5376/rgg.2013.04.0004
Received: 15 Jul., 2013
Accepted: 21 Aug., 2013
Published: 20 Sep., 2013
© 2014 Roy and Tulsiram, This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:
Roy and Tulsiram, 2013, Synthetic Seed of Rice: An Emerging Avenue of Applied Biotechnology, Rice Genomics and Genetics, Vol.4, No.4, 14-27 (doi:
Progress in plant biotechnological research has opened many avenues for basic and applied research in the field of crop
plants. Plant tissue culture is an important component of biotechnology, involves in the improvement of crops. Plant tissue culture led
to develop synthetic seed technology. Synthetic seed technology is an exciting and rapidly growing area of research in plant cell and
tissue culture. This technology is currently considered as the most effective and efficient alternative technique for propagation. The
base materials for production of synthetic seeds are somatic embryos or tissue culture derived materials. This technology also
facilitates the way of handling cells and tissues, protecting them from external gradients, short-term and long-term storage under low
temperature and ultra-low temperature, respectively and as an efficient system of delivery. The information in the areas of synthetic
seed preparation technology, its implications, achievements and limitations are lying unorganized in different articles of journals and
edited books and that information were presented in this article in organized way with up-to-date citations, which will provide
comprehensive literatures of recent advances.
Rice; Synthetic seed; Mass multiplication; Plant conservation
1 Introduction
Rice (Oryza sativa) is the major food crop in the world.
Nearly 40% of the world population consumes rice as
the major staple food. Most of the people, who depend
on rice as primary food, live in the less developed
countries. Since the dawn of civilization, rice has
served humans as a life-giving cereal in the humid
regions of Asia and, to a lesser extent, in West Africa.
Introduction of rice into Europe and the America has
led to its increased use in human diets. There are 42
rice producing countries throughout the world but
China and India are major rice production centers.
Rice provides fully 60% of the food intake in
Southeast Asia and about 35% in East Asia and South
Asia. The highest level of per capita rice consumption
(130~180 kg per year, 55%~80% of total caloric
source) takes place in Bangladesh, Cambodia,
Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and
Vietnam (Kenneth and Kriemhild, 2000). In many
cultures of the world rice is the central part of people’s
life and culture. Rice is an excellent food and is an
excellent source of carbohydrates and energy. In 2008,
international rice price rose greatly due to general
upward trend in grain prices caused by droughts,
increased use of grains animal feed, and so forth, has
led to worldwide food crisis. This caused the domestic
rice price in Malaysia increase almost double. The
only way to protect and stabilize local price is to
increase local rice production.
Production of synthetic seeds endowed with high
germination rate under in vitro and in vivo conditions
bears immense potential as an alternative of true seeds.
Encapsulation technique for producing synthetic seeds
has become an important asset in micropropagation.
Botanically seed is a mature ovule along with its food
storage in the form of either endosperm or cotyledon.
The essential part is the embryo contained within the
integuments, but it may be used less critically to
describe planting materials. In terms of seed science,
seed can be described as any propagating material
used for raising a crop. Whereas, synthetic seed could