Tissue Culture, Have You Had Success?

Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
Thu, 09 Sep 2010 21:31:49 PDT
My wife manages it in our far - VERY far - from sterile house, with fairly 
crude and inexpensive equipment (i.e., no laminar flow hood). She is 
mostly flasking orchid seed now, as that's what she wanted to learn to do 
first, but she has done a little trial tissue culture too since a lot of 
the steps are the same. Since she had a lot of chemistry and bac-t 
labs in college, and then spent 25 years teaching chemistry, she started 
off with pretty good lab technique, and even so there was a learning 
curve, but not what I'd call a really steep one, and she had some success 
right away. It's been more about practice to refine the technique and 
reduce the incidence of contamination than of having to radically change 
anything, and from what we hear that's true even if you do have really 
expensive equipment. (Lots of orchid people get into flasking seeds, and 
most of them don't have access to labs. At least when they start.)

When she was teaching high school science classes, she even had some 
students who managed it, again without high-tech equipment and in a very 
dirty environment. They used really easy plants, since the purpose was 
just to show the students the technique, but it worked. I had a piece of 
some kalanchoe in a test tube of agar in my sunroom for a long time ...

As others have said, there's a lot of good information out there on the 
web, and I like the books that have been recommended. I think there's even 
a tissue-culture forum out there somewhere - I'd have to ask Cathy. If 
there's interest, I can share a few sites, sources, and books that we have 
found on the list, otherwise feel free to e-mail me privately.


On Thu, 9 Sep 2010, Josh Young wrote:

> This is a very interesting topic, how many of you have tried this and 
> been successful?  Honestly, I wouldn't have ever assumed it to be 
> succesful outside of a sterile lab.

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com

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