Source: SEAMEO BIOTROP's Research Grant | 2011
Abstract:Other than as a direct food source, cottonii seaweed is a high value marine commodity in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia because of its capacity to produce carrageenan that is useful for industry and commerce, particularly in the pharmaceutical and food industries, as a stabilizer, thickener, gelling agent, emulsifier, etc. In order to increase production of this seaweed, it requires continuous availability of seaweed seedlings. Currently, seedlings supply from nature is highly dependent on the season. Seedlings of cottonii seaweed are obtained through vegetative propagation. The repeated clonal propagation
of seaweed causes a decrease in the genetic variability. This results to decrease in its growth rate, carrageenan rendement and gel strength and increase in its susceptibility to diseases. One solution to overcome these problems is producing seaweed seedlings using tissue culture techniques.
The Centre generated a protocol and an optimal media to produce young thallus or plantlet of cottonii
seaweed through tissue culture in 2011. The protocol ensures the production of quality cottonii seaweed seedlings under laboratory condition throughout the year. It also provides the potential to maitain the availability of superior seedlings on large scale. Acclimatization and field cultivation experiments of the tissue cultured seedlings are ongoing in coastal areas in Lombok and Lampung Provinces of Indonesia. Once completed, it can ensure a sustainable and better seaweed to help achieve Indonesia’s target to export 1 million tons per year of dried cottoni seaweed making the country as the largest seaweed producer in the world. It is also expected to benefit other SEAMEO member countries that are producing seaweed for both domestic and international markets.
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