Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Plant Cloning!

And now to the really fun stuff!
Tissue culture or Micropropagation is one of the most fascinating methods of producing masses of plants is a very short time (respectably)

Plant tissue culture is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium of known composition. Plant tissue culture is widely used to produce clones of a plant in a method known as micropropagation. Different techniques in plant tissue culture may offer certain advantages over traditional methods of propagation, including:
  • The production of exact copies of plants that produce particularly good flowers, fruits, or have other desirable traits.
  • To quickly produce mature plants.
  • The production of multiples of plants in the absence of seeds or necessary pollinators to produce seeds.
  • The regeneration of whole plants from plant cells that have been genetically modified.
  • The production of plants in sterile containers that allows them to be moved with greatly reduced chances of transmitting diseases, pests, and pathogens.
  • The production of plants from seeds that otherwise have very low chances of germinating and growing, i.e.: orchids and nepenthes.
  • To clean particular plants of viral and other infections and to quickly multiply these plants as 'cleaned stock' for horticulture and agriculture.
Plant tissue culture relies on the fact that many plant cells have the ability to regenerate a whole plant (totipotency). Single cells, plant cells without cell walls (protoplasts), pieces of leaves, or (less commonly) roots can often be used to generate a new plant on culture media given the required nutrients and plant hormones.

Most of my plants so far have been initiated by seeds, and then transfered to new flasks. Here is some photos so far!

Above 3 are in an old Ikea glass shelf that looked amazing, but sadly had little room. The new shelf is an "uglier" but useful garage shelf, but i do need another. The lights are just plain t-8's i would rather t5's but they cost a lot more!

Once plantlets are rooted in a flask of rooting horomones, they are carefully cleaned and all the agar is removed, and the plantlets are placed into peat pellets to acclimate from 100% Relative Humidity down to 45-60% RH. a slow 3 week process that is much needed. This is because the plants have no waxy layer or cuticle. This is needed to protect plants from humidity fluctuations, and evapotranspiration. :)

Then after a few more weeks the plants are potted up!

These newly potted plants need no dormancy for the first year! and they have increased vigor for some time! these pots will be stuffed in a few months, ready to sell at my next plant show!

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