Mangaluru: Tissue culture generated Epiphyllum oxypetalum plant produced by the Laboratory of Applied Biology, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), has started flowering. It flowers only once a year and at night from around 10 PM till early morning around five AM.
“When it had flowered for the first time, we couldn’t capture it and hence this time we set it up in such a way that we could see it bloom,” said Dr Shashikiran Nivas, faculty at the Laboratory of Applied Biology.
In Kannada it is called ‘Queen of the Night’ or ‘Irulu Thavare’. It is also called mistakenly Brahma Kamala as it resembles another plant Saussurea obvallata which is found in the Himalayas and also flowers only at night. Epipyllum is a Cactus and a shrub whereas Saussurea belongs to the Sunflower family and is a climber.
This tissue culture was part of the individual study by the Laboratory of Applied Biology. The Laboratory which started 40 years back, is a research centre for P.G in Biotechnology and for Ph.D. students. They receive several grants for various research purposes. Currently they have been working with many Horticulture plants like Zinniah, Celosia and other plants like Tiger lilly, orchids etc.
“It is rather wonderful to see that our test tube creations are blooming and we make our research accessible to all so that it can be a help to the society,” said Dr Shashikiran.
She further stated that the Lab is working on Algae biotechnology. She said “since we are living in the coast, we wanted to make use of what we have and make our research using for the public.”
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