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Tissue Culture Division

Mission

Development of in vitro technologies for clonal propagation, dihaploid plant production, exchange and conservation of germplasm for crop improvement.

Staff

Research
Head/Senior Research Officer Dr. (Ms.) V R M Vidhanaarachchi, PhD
(University of Kagoshima, Japan)


Technical (Research)
Experimental Officer Mr. E S Santha
Experimental Officer Ms. T R Gunathilake
Non Research
Lab and Field Assistant Ms. T D A A Keerthisinghe
Lab and Field Assistant Ms. E M N Maduwanthi
Lab and Field Attendant Mr. J.A.S.L. Jayasinghe
Lab and Field Attendant Ms. M S M Dharmaratne
Lab and Field Attendant Mr. R S N Kumara

Research Highlights

  • Studies on development of an efficient clonal propagation method for coconut via ovary culture
  • Application of anther culture technique to produce dihaploid coconut plants
  • Application of embryo culture technique for collection and propagation of exotic coconut germplasm
  • Propagation of Dikiri coconut (Makapuno - type of coconut) using embryo culture (embryo rescue)
  • Molecular studies on coconut embryogenesis

Achievements

  • Establishment of the Tissue Culture Laboratory
  • Development of a reliable embryo culture technique for coconut
  • Propagation of Dikiri coconut through embryo culture technology
  • Development of a protocol for somatic embryogenesis in coconut using tender leaf explants
  • Use of immature embryo as a novel explant for clonal propagation of coconut and development of a protocol for somatic embryogenesis using this explant
  • Development of techniques for short and medium-term preservation of coconut embryos

  • Further Refinement of the embryo culture protocol and acclimatization procedure
  • Further refinement of the techniques developed for short and medium - term preservation of coconut embryos
  • Commencing supply of embryo-cultured Dikiri coconut plants to growers at a nominal rate
  • Establishment of a demonstration plot of embryo-cultured Dikiri coconut plants at Bandirippuwa estate
  • Regeneration of a limited number of clonal coconut plants using shoot tip, immature inflorescence, immature embryo and plumule explants
  • Establishment of the first set of clonal coconut plants in the field

  • Development of cryopreservation protocols using mature embryo and plumule as a measure of long-term conservation of coconut germplasm
  • Through germplasm exchange program, importation of mature embryos of 28 exotic coconut varieties from India, PNG and Ivory Coast and raising the plants in vitro and finally establishing them in the field for future breeding programs
  • Development of a suitable protocol for mass propagation of Paulownia fortunei (a fast-growing timber crop)
  • Establishment of a demonstration plot of embryo-cultured dikiri coconut plants at Middeniya Research Station which is located in the Southern mini-coconut triangle
  • Establishment of about 150 clonal coconut plants in the field and confirmation of their genetic fidelity with the use of molecular markers
  • Completion of a comprehensive study to fulfill the lack of information (including precise cytological observations and illustrations) on morphological and histological aspects of inflorescence development (from floral initiation up to maturation) in several cultivars of coconut
  • Production of dihaploid plants via coconut anther culture for the first time in the history of coconut tissue culture, a major breakthrough towards the production of pure lines for hybrid coconut production
  • Development of a protocol for in vitro plant regeneration using unfertilized ovary, a novel and promising explant for clonal propagation of coconut
  • Mass propagation of banana and pineapple through tissue culture technology and supply of high quality, tissue-cultured plants to growers at a nominal rate
  • Development of efficient micropropagation protocols for a few high - value, ornamental plants and supply of clonal plants to the stake holder for export
  • Cloning and characterization of a gene (CnANT) that regulates embryogenesis in coconut

On Going Research

Clonal propagation of superior genotypes

  • Refinement of ovary culture protocol
  • Studies on callus multiplication and secondary embryogenesis
  • Histological and molecular studies to support clonal propagation
  • Evaluation of clonally-propagated material by using morphological and molecular markers
  • Improvement of acclimatization procedure

Development of technology for production of dihaploid plants

  • Refinement of anther culture protocol
  • Development of a protocol for microspore culture
  • Evaluation of regenerated plants

Application of embryo culture technology for crop improvement

  • Germplasm exchange
  • Collection and propagation of exotic varieties of coconut
  • Refinement of methodology used for transport of embryos
  • Propagation of Dikiri coconut by embryo culture (embryo rescue)

Awards and Patents

Awards

  • Dr. H D D Bandupriya received the President’s Award for Scientific Publication, for scientific research evaluated by peers and published in the year 2013

  • Dr. V R M Vidhanaarachchi received the President’s Award for Scientific Publication, for scientific research evaluated by peers and published in the year 2009
  • Dr. H D D Bandupriya received the President’s Award for Scientific Publication, for scientific research evaluated by peers and published in the year 2008

Dr. (Ms.) H.D.D. Bandupriya was the recipient of following award.

  • Price for the best presentation in Molecular Biology and Gene Manipulation Session of the 23rd Annual Congress of PGIA.
  • Merit Award for the best presented at session A, first symposium of the Young Scientist Forum.

Dr. (Ms.) P.I. P. Perera was the recipient of following awards.

  • Hiran Thilakarathne special award for postgraduate research

Dr. (Ms.) S.C. Fernando was the recipient of following award.

  • Recipient of NRC Presidential award for research

Dr. (Ms.) K. Weerakoon was the recipient of following award.

  • Recipient of NRC Presidential award for research

  • Third World Academy of Science / National Science Foundation (TWAS / NSF) Young Scientist Award for the scientific excellence in the field of Biology
  • Gold Medal for the best paper presentation of the 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research
  • Postgraduate Research Merit Award at sixty fourth annual sessions of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Best paper presentation in the session on Plant Breeding and Biotechnology of the 20th Annul Congress of Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture

Recent Publications

  1. Bandupriya H D D (2015) Expression of Aintegumenta –like gene related to embryogenic competence in Cocos nucifera L. is confirmed by 454 pyrosequencing transcriptome analysis. CORD, 31 (2): Pp 15 - 25.
  2. Bandupriya H D D & Dunwell J M (2015) Transcriptome analysis for discovering candidate genes involve in embryogenesis in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) through 454 pyrosequencing. Journal of National Science Foundation, 43 (4): Pp 319 – 336.

  1. Bandupriya, H.D.D., Gibbings, J.G. and Dunwell,J.M. (2014) Overexpression of coconut AINTEGUMENTA-like gene, CnANT, promotes in vitro regeneration in transgenic Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, 116 (1): Pp 67-79.
  2. Bandupriya H D D, Fernando S C, Verdeil J-L, Malaurie B (2014) Efficient method of transporting coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryos for cryopreservation of plumules by encapsulation/dehydration. CORD, 30 (2):
  3. Wijebandara D M D I, Vidhanaarachchi V R M, Gunathilake T R, Tennakoon (2014). The effect of copper and zinc on embryo germination and seedling growth of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). In: Keerthipala A P (ed.). Towards a green plantation economy, 5th Symposium on Plantation Crop Research, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Pp. 71-76.

  1. Bandupriya, H. D. D., Gibbings, J. G. and Dunwell, J. M. (2013) Isolation and characterization of an AINTEGUMENTA-like gene in different coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) varieties from Sri Lanka. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 9 (3): Pp 813-827.
  2. Herath, H.M.D.M.P., Bandupriya, H.D.D. and L.M.H.R Alwis. (2013) Initiation of callogenesis from unfertilized ovary explants of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis jacq.). Proceedings of Fourth Research Symposium, Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka.
  3. Satharasinghe, S., Bandupriya, H.D.D., De Silva, S.N.T. and Vidhanaarachchi V.R.M (2013). Multiplication and differentiation of ovary derived callus of Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) for higher embryogenic potential. Proceedings of 12th Agriculture Research Symposium, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.
  4. Vidhanaarachchi, V.R.M., Fernando S.C., Perera P.I.P, Weerakoon L.K. (2013) Application of un-fertilized ovary culture to identify elite mother palms of Cocos nucifera L. with regenerative potential. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 41 (1): Pp 29-34.

  1. Bandupriya, H.D.D., Dunwell, J.M. (2012) Overexpression of CnANT, coconut BABYBOOM homologue alters plant growth and morphology in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Tropical Agricultural Research, 23 (3): Pp 249-260
  2. Bandupriya, H. D. D. and Dunwell, J. M. (2012) Sequencing Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) expressed sequenced tags (EST) using 454 Life Sciences Technology. 2012 World Congress on In Vitro Biology, June 3-7, Bellevue, Washington, USA.
  3. Bandupriya, H. D. D. and Dunwell, J. M. (2012) Analysis and functional annotation of expressed sequence tags from coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) mature embryo. In: Hettiarachchi L. S. K. and Abeysinghe I. S. B. (eds.), Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Plantation Crop Research. September 20-21 Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  4. Fernando S. C., Santha, E. S., Perera, S. A. C. N., Dissanayake, H. D. M. A., Meegahakumbura, M.G. M. K. and Perera, L. (2012) In vitro characterization of indigenous coconut varieties (Cocos nucifera L.) of Sri Lanka for water stress tolerance. CORD, 28 (2): Pp 55-63

 

  1. Perera, P.I.P., Kularathna, J.D.J.S.M. and Weerakoon, L.K. (2011). Effect of gelling agent and selective sub-culturing on hyperhydricity in anther-derived coconut embryos, CORD, 27(3): Pp. 26-37.
  2. Fernando, S.C., samarajeewa, D.A.D.S. and Liyanagedara, L.G.N.H.K. (2011). Use of arabinogalactan protein in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) tissue culture: An alternate approach for improved tissue response, CORD, 27(3): Pp. 9-16.
  3. Malaurie, B., Tregear, J.N., Nan, O., Bandupriya, H.D.D., Borges, M. & Verdeil, J.-L. (2011). Cryopreservation as a Tool for the Management of Coconut Germplasm, Acta Horticulture, 908: Pp. 461-466.
  4. Bandupriya, H.D.D., Fernando, S.C., Verdeil, J.-L. and Malaurie, B.,  (2011). Cryopreservation of encapsulated plumules of  Coconut; effect of transport/ store conditions, AsPac. J. Mol. Biol. Biotecnol., 18 (1) : Pp. 135-137.

  1. Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V., Weerakoon, L.K., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Fernando, S.C. and Verdeli, J-L. (2010). Early inflorescence and floral development in Cocos nucifera L., South African Journal of Botany, 76: Pp. 482-492.
  2. Fernando, S.C., Santha, E.S. and Hewarathna, D.J.A. (2010). Activated coconut shell charcoal as a component of tissue culture media of Cocos nucifera L., Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 38(3): Pp. 181-185.
  3. Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V., Weerakoon, L.K., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Fernando, S.C. and Verdeli, J-L. (2010). Morphological aspects of coconut anther culture derived structures, Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 38(1): Pp. 69-74.
  4. Fernando, S.C., samarajeewa, D.A.D.S. and Liyanagedara, L.G.N.H.K. (2011). Use of arabinogalactan protein in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) tissue culture: An alternate approach for improved tissue response, In: Book of abstracts; International conference on coconut biodiversity for prosperity, October 25-28, Kasaragod, Kerala, India, Pp. 49.
  5. Vidhanaarachchi, V.R.M., Fernando, S.C., Perera, P.I.P. and Weerakoon, L.K. (2010). Identification of elite coconut mother palms with in vitro regeneration potential using unfertilized ovary culture, Proceedings on Plantation Crop Research, 30 September -01 October, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Pp. 333.
  6. Bandupriya, H.D.D., Fernando, S.C., Verdeli, J-L. and Malaurie, B., (2010). Cryopreservation of encapsulated plumules of coconut: effect of transport/store conditions,  AsPac. J. Mol.BiolBiotechnol., 18 (1): Pp. 135-137.
  7. Bandupriya, H.D.D. and Dunwell, J.M. (2010). Characterization of AINTEGUMENTA like gene in Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) and its expression during embryogenesis, 12th Proceeding of World Congress of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology, June 6-11, St.Louis, Missouri, USA.
  8. Bandupriya, H.D.D. and Dunwell, J.M. (2010). Isolation and characterization of AINTEGUMENTA like gene in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), International Symposium on the Biology of the Palm Family, May 5-7, Montpellier, France.

  1. Perera, P.I.P., Vidhanarachchi, V.R.M., Gunathilake, T.R., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J-L and Weerakoon, L. K. (2009). Effect of plant growth regulators on ovary culture of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, 99(1): Pp. 73-81.
  2. Perera, P.I.P., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Hocher, V. Verdeil, J-L. and Weerakoon, L.K. (2009). Effect of growth regulators on microspore embryogenesis in coconut anthers, Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, 96: Pp. 171-180.

  1. Bandupriya, H.D.D., Weerakoon, L.K., Ranasinghe, C.S. and Fernando, W.P.K.K. (2008). Changes in soluble sugars, sugar profile, starch and proline in developing coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) inflorescences, CORD, 24(1): Pp. 54-60.
  2. Perera, P.I.P., Yakandawala, D.M.D., V Hocher, J-L Verdeil, and Weerakoon, L.K. (2008). Use of SSR markers to determine the anther - derived homozygous lines in coconut, Plant Cell Reports 27: Pp. 1697-1703.
  3. Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J-L., Bandupriya, H.D.D., Yakandawala, D.M.D., and Weerakoon, L.K. (2008). Androgenic potential in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, 92: Pp 293-302.
  4. Perera, P.I.P., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Verdeil, J-L., Hocher, V. Weerakoon, L.K. (2008). Somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration in unfertilized ovary explants of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 20: Pp. 226-233.
  5. Perera, P.I.P., Wickremasinhe, I.P. and Fernando, W.M.U. (2008). Morphological, Cytogenetic and genotypic differences between Spicata and ordinary tall Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 36(1): Pp. 103-108.
  6. Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J-L. Yakandawala, D.M.D., Weerakoon, L.K. (2008). Generation of double haploid coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) plants via anther culture, Pragna (Special issue for Aries Kovoor Memorial symposium, Sri Lanka), 19(1): Pp. 35-39.
  7. Fernando, S.C. (2008). Clonal propagation of coconut: Prospects and limitations, In: Nainanayake, N.P.A.D. and Everard, J.M.D.T. (Eds.) Export competitiveness through quality improvement, 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Pp. 322-326.
  8. Motha, K.F., Perera, P.I.P. and Attanayake, D.P.S.T.G. (2008). Histological studies on coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) anther culture, In: Proceedings of 8th Agricultural Research Symposium, University of Wayamba, Sri Lanka, Pp. 160-164.
  9. Perera, P.I.P., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J-L. and Weerakoon, L.K. (2008). Effect of genotype and anther orientation on androgenesis induction of coconut, In: Nainanayake, N.P.A.D. and Everard, J.M.D.T. (Eds.) Export competitiveness through quality improvement, 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Pp. 104-110.
  10. Samarajeewa, D.A.D.S., Fernando, S.C. and Attanayake, D.P.S.T.G. (2008). Role of arabinogalactan proteins in coconut tissue culture, In: Proceedings of the 8th Agricultural Research Symposium, University of Wayamba, Sri Lanka, Pp. 217-223.

  1. Bandupriya, H.D.D., Fernando, S.C., Verdeil, J-L. and Malaurie, B. (2007). Effect of Abscisic acid on survival and recovery of cryopreserved plumule explants of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), COCOS, 18 : Pp. 45-51.
  2. Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J-L., Doulbeau, S., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Weerakoon, L.K. (2007). Unfertilized ovary: a novel explant for coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) somatic embryogenesis, Plant Cell Reports, 26(1): Pp. 21-28.

  1. Malaurie, B., Bandupriya, H.D.D., Fernando, S.C. and Verdeil, J.L. (2006). Optimisation du procédé de cryoconservation de la plumule de cocotier, Les Actes du BRG, 6: Pp. 449-468.
  2. Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V. Verdeil, J-L., Yakandawala, D.M.D. and Weerakoon, L.K. (2006). Recent advances in anther culture of coconut (Cocos nucifera L), In: Xu, Z., Li, J., Xue, Y., Yang, W. (Eds.). Biotechnology and sustainable agriculture 2006 and beyond. Proceedings of the 11th IAPTC&B Congress August 13-18, 2006, Beijing, China, Pp 451-456.

Bandupriya, H.D.D. and Dunwell, J.M.,  (2011). Characterization of AINTEGUMENTA like gene in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) and its expression during embryogenesis, 12th Proceedings of World congress of the Internationational Association for Plant Biotechnology, June 6-11, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 10:13  

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