International Coconut Community through its program of the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) organized the three-day 2nd International Tissue Culture Symposium virtually from 4-6 May 2022. This is one of the activities of COGENT’s International Thematic Action Group (ITAG 4), who serve as the technical team working on In-vitro Culture and Cryopreservation.
The objective of organizing the symposium is to establish the status of coconut tissue culture technology, including the information and technical capacity gaps, the needs, challenges, and their application to coconut conservation and to increase coconut production to meet the growing market demand through knowledge and technology sharing, synergies and to help provide support towards achieving more sustainable coconut industry developments. The theme of the symposium was ‘Coconut Tissue Culture Aspects and Prospects’.
The Tissue culture experts from the different TC laboratory had participated in the symposium and presented their research and development in this sector.
The symposium started on 4th May with the welcome address by Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director of ICC, followed by address of Ms. Irene Kernot, Research Program Manager for Horticulture ACIAR, and Dr. Fiona Lynn of DFAT Australia. The opening remarks of the symposium delivered by Administrator Benjamin Madrigal and Chair ICC Technical Working Group. Mrs Erlene C. Manohar, COGENT Coordinator presented the Tissue Culture Symposium Rationale, Objectives.
During the three-day virtual symposium, subject matter experts presented the state of the art of coconut tissue culture (TC) in six sessions as follows.
- The state of the art and challenges of coconut tissue culture globally
- Coconut germplasm cryopreservation
- Selection of coconut germplasm for in vitro culture
- Tissue culture and Coconut Germplasm Exchange
- Basic studies on embryogenesis technology towards its optimization
- TC for socioeconomic benefits to coconut producers & processors, and Establishing / Strengthening (Inter)national networks/linkages for TC
After each session there were Q&A sessions and discussion on different questions raised by the participants. A poster competition was also organized on the third day of the symposium and there were eight entries from both research institutes and private sectors. The best three entries were awarded with Gold, Silver and Bronze supported with ICC digital publications and cash prize and certificate.
A Pre-symposium activity was organized as Roundtable discussions on socioeconomic benefits of Tissue culture Technology to coconut producers & processors in which both private and government sector representatives participated on 27 – April 2022. The output of the roundtable discussion was presented on the last day of the symposium by Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Anita Karun, Director ICAR-CPCRI India as ITAG-4 Leader, other ITAG members as resource speakers, invited participants from government and private sectors and 70 registered participants. There was in depth discussion on almost all the three days of the symposium which was very productive and resulted in several recommendations to be implemented in the coming days. Mrs. Erlene Manohar, COGENT Coordinator presented the Way Forward and Future Plans at the end of the session 6. The symposium concluded with the closing remarks of Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw. The symposium was moderated by Mr. Vincent Johnson, COGENT Coordination Support.