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Tissue culture

  • Subject: Tissue culture
  • From: "Walter Turner" <wvturner@gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 09:28:53 +0100

It may not be necessary to go to a company to do your tissue culture.

The botany department of the university here teaches tissue culture, and each student in one of their courses carries out an experiment. I don't know whether they all use the same plants as starting material.

To thank me for helping them with an English-language paper some time back, they tried a single experiment with a dieffenbachia for me. I have had the plant as a series of clones for 45 years, and I thought it might have taken on a load of viruses in that time and might grow better without them. I had no reason to think there were viruses. It was just an idea. I can't complain that dieffenbachias don't grow!

The experiment failed completely, and I didn't want to presume further on their kindness. Doing more would have meant trying a number of techniques till one worked.

At any rate, it might pay to get to know botanists in a university near you. If someone there takes an interest in the rarity of your plant, he or she may help you with some tissue culture. If the botany department is doing anything with tissue culture, working out the proper technique to propagate your plant might also be the kind of short and specific research project they assign to undergraduates.

Of course, there are books with recipes for doing this yourself. The great problem formerly was sterile conditions, but the recipes I've seen called for minuscule amounts of many chemicals, and they may be hard to get. I'm told that it is presently almost impossible in the USA, for example, to get your hands on even the most harmless chemicals.

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