A project initiated by a student from IUMW’s biotechnology programme has won a silver medal award in the Virtual Innovation Competition 2020 (VIC2020), organised by UiTM Kelantan, Malaysia. The project, ‘Synthetic Seeds of Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss’ was run by biotechnology student Abigail Marie Robert Selvaraj and supervised by IUMW lecturer Mr. Shahril Efzueni Rozali and University of Malaya lecturer, Dr. Jamilah Syafawati Yaacob.
Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss., also known as waterleaf plant is a perennial herb that has great therapeutic value in traditional medicine which has been involved in the management of cardiovascular-related diseases like diabetes, stroke, and obesity as well as gastrointestinal disorders. In Malaysia, the plant is popularly called “ginseng Jawa” due to its tuberous roots that resemble the ginseng roots. The low germination rate and wilting disease have affected the mass cultivation of these underutilised crops.
Synthetic seed technology is considered a valuable option for the mass propagation and short-term storage of some medicinal plants through plant tissue culture approach. The aim of this research is to evaluate the regeneration potential of Talinum fruticosum synthetic seeds. The synthetic seeds were produced by encapsulating the nodal segments of in vitro plants with alginate hydrogel. The results obtained in this project demonstrated that the storage conditions may affect the regeneration potential of the synthetic seeds. The development of synthetic seeds in this study provides a great alternative for the improvement of mass production of this plant species.