Are you ready to start your own journey with tissue culture? Let's take a look at a few things you should know before you dive in.
What is Plant Tissue Culture?
Plant tissue culture is defined as a collection of methods that can be used to grow or store plant cells. This means that under the correct conditions and in alignment with the proper protocols thousands of new plants with identical genetic makeup can be propagated from just a couple plant cells.
Plant tissue culture (TC) refers to a range of methods that support the development and growth of plant cells in a growing medium and isolated environment. There are different types of tissue culture techniques, but all need to be done under aseptic conditions if you want a successful culture. Axenic cultures are TC experiments where the only living organism is the plant tissue. Plant tissues need to be maintained in the medium until they can be transferred to a new medium, whether to preserve the medium's freshness or to adjust the next level of development.
Every laboratory where tissue culture will be performed will need the following basic facilities:
Firstly, you will need an area where your scientific and research endeavors can be done without interruption; this will be your laboratory. Depending on the specific type of tissue culture you will perform, you will need a variety of different items. However, the following will be essential across all plant tissue culture labs.
The TC Top 5:
- MS Media
- Gelling agent (Agar or Gellan gum)
- A scale that can measure in grams and has at least two decimal places
- A pH meter
The above items are the top five essentials that you'll need to start your own basic tissue culture laboratory. The list above includes essentials, but there are several other items that will be helpful in your operation and elevate your chances of success.
Shop high-quality gelling agents for your tissue culture process today.
Other Items To Utilize
A laminar hood is usually one of the essential prerequisites, and indeed it can be helpful. Still, we have found that tissue culture can be successful without it, as long as the proper protocols and preventative methods are carefully observed. It is advisable that once a laminar hood flow can fit into your budget, then you should invest in one as it can boost your chances for successful cultures.
Glassware will be used when you prepare your media, store your tissue culture, and set up your experiments for culture growth.
There is a high risk of contamination from your glassware, so you should prevent contaminated cultures by using the glassware solely for experiments. If glassware is used continually, the glass could begin to absorb toxic metal ions. It is a good idea to wash all the glass equipment with laboratory detergent and then rinse with tap water - and not just once but several times. Then, to limit the chances of resulting metal ion absorption, the glassware should be rinsed with purified water.
You will need to have a heat resistant Erlenmeyer flask for when you are preparing your culture media. A small-capacity flask and a tissue culture glass jar (yes, just like the jam jars with the polypropylene cap), petri plates, and test tubes will be needed as well.
How to Treat New Glassware
If you have just purchased a new flask, there is a recommended procedure to minimize contamination:
- Wash the new flask with laboratory detergent
- Rinse several times with tap water
- Rinse with purified water
- The flask should then be autoclaved
The above steps ensure that the your culture media remains uncontaminated throughout the introduction of a new flask or other glassware equipment.
Other glassware that you may need include:
- Graduated cylinders
Ultimately, how clean and purified you maintain your glassware and containers will determine your growing cultures’ fate.
Do you want another tip for successful tissue cultures? Our not-so-secret-secret-weapon is plant preservative mixture, otherwise known as PPM™.
Plant Preservative Mixture is a broad-based formulation that can eliminate contamination, including fungal spores, and also prevent future contaminations. PPM™ should be your first option, instead of antibiotics, since plants cannot genetically mutate to become immune to PPM™ (as is the case with antibiotics). There are a whole host of other benefits that PPM™ has over antibiotics, but you can read all about those in this post, and then head over to our store to get your own PPM™, and protect your tissue culture against waterborne, airborne, endogenous and human contamination.
Check out our PPM™ (Plant Preservative Mixture) today and ensure a healthy TC process.