Seaweed is among the export primadonna of fisheries commodity, with Indonesia as one of the largest seaweed producers globally. Conventional seaweed culture uses seaweed seedlings resulting from the harvested seaweed by means of the cuttings method. In the long run, repetition of this propagation method resulted in the decreased growth speed, carrageenan yield and gel strength, along with an increase in seaweed susceptibility toward diseases.
Vegetative propagation by using the tissue culture technique offers a solution to the superior quality of seaweed seedlings provision. Research on the tissue culture technique to propagate seaweed by using somatic embryogenesis was carried out in SEAMEO BIOTROP from 2010 up to 2011. The plantlets that resulted from this research were used in a series of seaweed culture trials in various coastal areas in Indonesia, such as Lombok and Lampung. From these trials, many positive traits of seaweed seedlings produced by the tissue culture technique can be seen such as having a higher daily growth rate, carrageenan yield and gel strength compared to those produced by conventional seaweed seedlings. These results are essential to be disseminated to the coastal community for increasing their livelihood.
In regards to speeding up the technology transfer in the tissue culture technique for seaweed seedlings provision, SEAMEO BIOTROP and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Global Quality and Standards Programme (UNIDO GQSP) SMART-Fish 2 Indonesia held technical guidance on Tissue Culture for Cottonii Seaweed Seedlings Provision on 23-25 May 2022. The resource persons were Dr Erina Sulistiani, the Manager of Products and Innovation Department as well as a tissue culture researcher of SEAMEO BIOTROP and Mr. Samsul Ahmad Yani. The materials presented were Tissue Culture Technology for Plants and Seaweed Seedlings; Phases of Tissue Culture Technology for the Provision of Cottonii Seaweed Seedlings; Facilities Required for the Production of Cottonii Seaweed Seedlings by using Tissue Culture Technology; Sources of Contamination and Aseptic Technique; Culture Media for Propagating Seaweed by using Tissue Culture Technology; Sterilization of Seaweed Explant; Callus Induction and Subculture; Regeneration of Callus to Become Micropropagule; Regeneration of Micropropagule to Become Plantlet; Plantlet Acclimatization Technique in Greenhouse; and Preparing Seaweed Plantlet into Seaweed Seedlings. The materials were presented in classrooms and laboratory practicum. The technical guidance was actively participated by 20 participants consisting of researchers, teachers and practitioners in plant, aquaculture and seaweed biotechnology field.
In his opening remarks, Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP expressed his hopes that the participants can transfer the tissue culture technology for seaweed seedlings provision to the coastal community in order to optimally increase seaweed production which leads to the increase of livelihood of the coastal community. (sis/hcn).