Sunday, January 19, 2014

Journal January 19, 2014 - Plants From Test Tubes

Today I found what I think is the perfect photo to decorate the fronts of my tissue culture light boxes.  That is boxes plural, as I am finding that one small box has no where near the capacity that I am going to require.

The box shown in the photo above will be illuminated by only a 125 watt equivalent 5500K CFL, as really not much light is required.  This box will also serve as my "still air" container when preparing sections for culture. The second box, containing the current batch of cultures, is now under the 150 watt Reflector LED grow light using only the vegetative setting.

My copy of Plants From Test Tubes, by Kyte, Kleyn, Scooggins and Bridgen, finally arrived, and it is an excellent book for beginners like myself.  The book has changed my perspective on the process somewhat, and this could become a hobby to equal hydroponic gardening.  It is a fascinating pastime, and, as the plants are sealed in their own environment; they require very little maintenance, taking up not very much space.  

So far, two olive varieties are showing signs of growth, and my initial trial cuttings are doing really well.  The Jasmine sambac has at least five plantlets beginning to grow from the single node placed into culture.  In 4 to 6 weeks the plantlets can be excised and placed into culture to form new plants.  When large enough, the plantlets are placed into a medium with rooting hormones and allowed to develop roots.  Following that stage they can be removed from culture, washed, placed into sterile growing medium and acclimatized in a protective environment.  According to the calculations in the book, if each test tube only produced a single cutting, in only 11 months you would have 2084 new plants.  Considering that my single node has already showing five plantlets, the total possible production is astounding to contemplate.  As there are three stages to this process that will require growing in culture in containers, I quickly determined that I needed more room to maintain the cultures.



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