SRC Using Tissue Culture to Increase Pineapple Yield

Photo: Donald Delahaye Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council (SRC), Dr. Cliff Riley.

Story Highlights

  • The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is using tissue culture to increase the quality and yield of the sugar loaf and other types of pineapples in Jamaica.
  • The Council has been mass producing the planting materials, in an effort to increase its availability for sale to local farmers.
  • Executive Director of the SRC, Dr. Cliff Riley, told JIS News that the Council is also cleaning the planting materials, to prevent microbes or soil-borne pests.

The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is using tissue culture to increase the quality and yield of the sugar loaf and other types of pineapples in Jamaica.

The Council has been mass producing the planting materials, in an effort to increase its availability for sale to local farmers.

Executive Director of the SRC, Dr. Cliff Riley, told JIS News that the Council is also cleaning the planting materials, to prevent microbes or soil-borne pests.

He pointed out that the pineapple plant is not traditionally grown using tissue culture techniques, but instead farmers would normally use seedlings/suckers.

However, Dr. Riley said that in using the ‘seedlings/suckers’, farmers risk transferring whatever weaknesses the parent plant had, to the offspring.

“In addition to that, the wait period for these ‘seedlings/suckers’ is longer, usually over a year. With tissue culture, you tell us the quantity you want and within a month or two, it is ready for planting,” the Executive Director explained.

“The SRC makes these available to farmers at all levels. Customers can just walk in and purchase these plantlets, or we may produce a larger volume for commercial entities or large farms,” Dr. Riley added.

He suggested that for large scale production and greater access to improved quality planting materials, tissue culture is definitely the way to go. He said that persons may also use the product in backyard gardening.

Many varieties of the pineapple plantlets are produced by the SRC, including the MD2, Queen and Sugar loaf.

The Executive Director pointed out that a Hawaiian variety has also been attracting some interest.

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