What are Synthetic Seeds?
Synthetic Seeds are artificially encapsulated somatic embryos (Somatic embryos are bipolar structure with both apical and basal meristematic regions which are capable of forming shoot and root, respectively) shoot buds, cell aggregates, or any other tissue that can be used for sowing as a seed and that possess the ability to convert into a plant under in vitro or ex vitro conditions and that retain this potential also after storage.
In simple words synthetic seed contains an embryo produced by somatic embryogenesis enclosed within an artificial medium that supplies nutrients and is encased in an artificial seed covering. These are advantageous in many aspects such as Ease of handling while in storage, ease of transport, long term storage without losing viability, inherit clonal nature of the resulting plants, allow economical mass propagation of elite plant varieties etc. Applications involve hybrid plant propagation, GM corps propagation, genetic uniformity for studies etc.
Synthetic seeds help in development of a clonal propagation system that enables vegetative propagule to be stored for long periods of time and at the same time enable multiplication of the plant.