Laboratorio de Biotecnología

The Biotechnology Laboratory was established in the early 1980s to develop different biotechnology tools applied to the conservation and use of plant genetic resources of strategic interest to CATIE and its member countries. Since its inception, it has made great contributions in generating knowledge on the propagation, characterization, conservation and genetic improvement of tropical crops such as coffee, cocoa, banana, plantain, abaca, roots, tubers, forest and ornamental species, among others.


The laboratory offers technical advisory services on different topics:

  • Development of micropropagation protocols in different species.
  • Multiplicación comercial de variedades de plantas, clones, plantas élite u otros materiales genéticos.
  • Training in somatic embryogenesis of coffee, establishment of cell suspensions and management of embryogenic cultures.
  • Installation and training in the temporary immersion culture system using RITA® containers.
  • Training in the cryopreservation of seeds and different vegetative propagules, using different techniques.

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Production of improved coffee hybrids

CATIE, through the Biotechnology Laboratory and the Forest Seed Bank, consolidated in 2012 a propagation strategy for the F1 hybrids developed by the Coffee Genetic Improvement Project. 

What is an F1 hybrid and why is its propagation important? It is a product that arises from a cross between living plant or animal organisms through sexual reproduction.

With the creation and distribution of these hybrids, the following is wanted:

  • Reducir los tiempos de producción de plantas
  • Aumentar la capacidad de producción y reducir los costos
  • Mayor resistencia a enfermedades como la roya
  • Mayor vigor vegetativo y alta productividad
  • Mejor adaptabilidad a ambientes difíciles
  • Excelentes características de bebida
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