Grafting is a technique where ideal multiplication of plants occurs with no variation but this is most probably suitable in only dicotyledons. But recent research works revealed that there is a chance of performing grafting even in monocots which is quite interesting topic!!

It is an essential technique in many parts of the agricultural industry by physically binding certain plants together, you get dramatic improvements, including the speed to fruiting, hardiness to weather or drought, pest resistance and hybridization. The modern fruit tree industry would basically not exist without the technique. 

But a huge group of some of the world’s most important crops were thought to be incompatible with grafting, including grasses, cereals (wheat, corn, rice) and all sorts of others (bananas, pineapples, bamboo, ginger, onions). But grafting could provide solutions to some of the problems faced by these supposedly un-graftable plants, and now a group of researchers found a way for it. One possibility, just for example, They could save the Cavendish banana a commercially important cultivar that’s been increasingly threatened by a deadly fungus.

Cavendish variety of Banana

These researchers have done is a bit different than the grafting we’re accustomed to; you still, at least at the moment, cannot insert a cutting from one banana plant into the body of another and expect anything fruitful to happen. Instead, the researchers took tissues from the seeds of some of these monocots, and found that they can be fused together. “Essentially, it involves swapping the seed-shoot or the seed-root and replacing it with the equivalent of a different individual,” says Reeves “The resulting seeds still have an immature shoot and root tissue together that heal [fused] as the seed germinates.”

Grafting is done, in some places, for plants such as melons to develop resistance. If you have a melon that’s susceptible to a specific kind of fungus, you can graft that melon onto a different melon plant that may not produce such delicious fruit but that is resistant to the fungus. Bingo: You have tasty melons without having to worry about fungus problems.

This sort of seed-based grafting could have that effect on monocots, enabling growers to produce monocot crops with pest or disease resistance that they otherwise wouldn’t have. The researchers found that their technique worked with a variety of monocots, including pineapple, banana, date palm, onion and agave. 

The banana part of this is especially interesting, as one variety of banana, the Cavendish, accounts for about 99 percent of the world’s commercially produced banana. Grafting has been indicated  as a solution for exactly Panama disease, in plants such as cucumber, watermelon and tomato. If bananas can be grafted, that could potentially be a way to increase their resistance.

The researchers have filed for a patent for their grafting technique, partnering with Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialization arm of Cambridge University. “Together with Cambridge Enterprise, we want to ensure that this technology is used as widely as possible to achieve public benefit for both humanitarian and commercial purposes,” says Reeves. He says that labor is currently the most expensive part of the process, but even so, that the costs are fairly similar to those for grafting dicots such as apples.

Hope this new step of innovation solves many problems in agriculture and provide a golden opportunity for easy multiplication of monocots. 

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