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Re: Tissue culture

You used to be able to get a nice handbook on plant tissue culture for free from Sigma Chemical Company.  Have a look there and see what you can some up with.  Like Mammalian TC you can buy huge numbers of different pre-formulated substrates for plants.  The difficulty is finding the one that works, although since Alocasia have been in TC for some time this may be easy.  Sterility is always troubling if you do not have some lab experience.  Doing primary TC of human tissue is tough because of the bacteria that must be stamped out based on my personal experience.  While I would not trust an undergrad to do it, perhaps a grad. stud. or post-doc that wants to add it to their list since they have the requisite skill set already in place.  I've always heard the tough part is getting from the plates to the soil.
There is someone on this list in Germany who knows a lot about TC so maybe they can chime in.
Best of luck one way or the other,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 3:28 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] Tissue culture

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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