In vitro conservation is an alternative method for medium-term conservation. In vitro gene bank will be a safe alternative in protecting the genetic resources from epidemic diseases. Geetha etal. (1995) and Nirmal Babu et al. (1994, 1999a,b) reported conservation of cardamom germplasm in in vitro gene bank by slow growth. The above workers carried out various trials to achieve an ideal culture condition under which the growth is slowed down to the minimum without affecting the physiology or genetical make up of the plant. The slow growth is achieved by the incorporation of agents for increasing the osmotic potential of the medium, such as mannitol. They found that half strength MS without growth regulators and with 10 mg/l each of sucrose and mannitol was the best for in vitro storage of cardamom under slow growth. By using the above medium in screw capped vials the subculture interval could be extended to one year or more, when incubated in 22 ± 2 °C at 2500 lux of light and at 10 h photoperiod. Low temperature storage at 5 °C and 10 °C was found to be lethal for cardamom, as the cultures did not last more than three weeks (Geetha et al. 1995).
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