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Re: Tissue Culture ? Can common folk do it?

  • Subject: Re: Tissue Culture ? Can common folk do it?
  • From: Steve Marak <samarak@gizmoworks.com>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2010 12:29:35 -0500 (CDT)

My wife's setup involves a pressure cooker, an electronic kitchen balance 
that reads in grams, and a "hood" made by buying a large clear plastic bin 
at Wal-Mart, turning it upside down, and cutting a hole in the side and 
taping a clear plastic flap over it. After trying several options, she's 
now using regular home canning jars (with the plastic lids, not the metal 
ones) to hold the medium. 

We happened to already have the pressure cooker and electronic kitchen 
balance, but other than those, the most expensive thing has been 
purchasing the media, which Cathy gets from PhytoTech ( 
http://www.phytotechlab.com ). She's buying pre-mixed formulations they 
offer, which require only the addition of sugar. 

At the moment she's focused on learning to flask orchid seed efficiently, 
rather than tissue culture, but she has done a little TC in that kind of 
setup when she was teaching high school, so it can be done.

Carolina Biological ( http://www.carolina.com ) offers TC "kits" designed 
for teachers/students/home enthusiasts (put "tissue culture" in the search 
box). They won't set you up to do TC of your plants at home, but can give 
you a feel for the kind of lab techniques you need (and help give you the 
confidence that you can do it), and several of them are pretty cheap - the 
sundew TC kit is less than $25 US.

Sterilization of the environment in the hood is key, of course. Some 
people use a spray bottle of ethanol, but not only is it very "fumey", 
it's very flammable, so Cathy uses other options. You can use dilute 
bleach, or some people prefer a calcium hypochlorite (household bleach is 
a sodium hypochlorite solution) solution instead. Aaron Hicks, at his 
Orchid Seedbank Project, has lots of great advice from his experience 
flasking orchids which would apply in TC also. Check out 


On Thu, 9 Sep 2010, Sherry Gates wrote:

> I excitedly 2nd this request!
>     thanks, sherry
>   ----- Original Message ----- 
>   From: santoury@aol.com<mailto:santoury@aol.com> 
>   Subject: [Aroid-l] Tissue Culture ? Can common folk do it?
>   I'm sure this has been answered before, but nothing on the internet 
>   shows any "common folk" doing tissue culture work to propagate their 
>   own plants. I'd love to do it, if possible. Granted, my facilities are 
>   not "scientific." But, boy, if I could grow plants from pieces of 
>   leaves - I'd sure love to. I'd love to hear about any experience you 
>   may have had with this endeavor. Thanks! Jude

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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