Tissue culture

albem(9)June 21, 2005

Long time ago (> 20 years already) I read an article about reproduction of plant material in "Agar Agar" culture material. The description was meant for home-experimenting.

So... no fancy stuff needed.

It was about growing potato plants from little chips of the root-sprouts.

I recall that the agar agar was to be mixed with the moisture that is inside a coconut. All made sterile by heating for a time.

The coconut material contains a lot of hormones and stuff, that regulate root-growth, bud-growth and shooting from the unspecialized cells that first grows to just a clump of cells.

I want to try with bamboo material, just for the fun of it.

If you know the details of this propagating method, please reply in the forum.



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PeteJ(UK Z7/8)

Found a recipe that may be of use (below).

I have heard some talk of tissue cultured bamboo's tending to be a bit weak and feeble. Anyone know of any details? Is the same problem as with animal cloning where the progeny share the "biological age" of the parent tissue (e.g. as with Dolly the cloned sheep). I know plants are supposed to be pluripotent (any bit of the plant can become a full grown one) but are bamboos different?

Anyway, good luck !

Here is a link that might be useful: home plant tissue culture recipe

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:50AM
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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

google for "tissue culture bamboo". substantial info. It seems in general that bamboo is not very amenable to propagation through tissue culture.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:53AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Tissue culture bamboo is beginning to advance. Look up "Bamboo Select" and you'll get an idea of what is happening. They are a European company that has found a successful way to grow bamboo from tissue culture. Their specimens are robust, fast growing and lush. No fragile stuff. They selected certain breeds that responded well to the process -- some species of sasa, fargesia and pleioblastus, and Phyllostachys nigra.

Last year, they started an American branch of the company, run by Susanne Lucas (from Mass.) and a partner in California. They are the sole reps here, and have been licensing many growers around the country to grow Bamboo Select starts for distribution to retail garden centers. Predictions are that this will make bamboo a household garden plant within the next several years.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:09AM
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PeteJ(UK Z7/8)

Be interesting to see where their plants are in the flowering cycle. Does the clock get reset back to zero by the tissue culture system they use or do the enforced, multiple rounds of vegetative division needed to produced a viable start advance the clock (bit of a bummer if their entire stock flowers at once !)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:36AM
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Thanks "PeteJ" the description of the home-brewed tissue culture is similar to what i read long time ago. Now I'm update again with the sterilization proces etc..
Good link!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 11:11AM
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Last I checked, agar was a petre (sp?) dish medium for growth that was derived from seaweed.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:22PM
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Thuja(zone 4b WI, US)

Cady, somehow it's hard to imagine bamboo as a household plant in the US. It just seems that too many people are afraid of it. Even here in the Arctic where it's difficult to keep bamboo alive, there are people who would never plant it for fear of it taking over.

Oh well, only time will tell. Maybe "Lucky Bamboo" will pave the way. I mean, Lucky Bamboo has taken over and we have all survived its invasion.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:59PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

I have the same opinion, Thuja. Harde to imagine. But, the growers are optimistic -- otherwise, they wouldn't invest in the program. If tissue culture 'boo is as easy to maintain as "luck bamboo," maybe it will become a garden mainstay.

My understanding of Bamboo Select's tissue culture, is that the cloned plants grow at a faster rate than conventionally-derived starts from divisions and seed. The cultured cells grow more rapidly to "catch up" to the age and developmental stage of the parent plant from which they were taken.

I have a Fargesia rufa from tissue culture, and it has grown more rapidly than several rhizome-derived and seedling F. rufa I have.

The flowering stage Bamboo Select species are at, I can only guess about. I'd read that one of their species, F. rufa, was a relatively recent introduction to Europe and North America. I don't know whether they were obtained from seed or from divisions from wild stock. If the latter, then we have no way of knowing how old the parent plants are, and where they are in their cycle.

Don't know about the other species they are growing.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 10:16AM
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Thuja(zone 4b WI, US)

Another thought on the increased vigor of the cultured plants is that they may have less viruses. Cells taken from the apical meristem may have grown ahead of the virus. I don't know, but it seems like all this vegetative propagation from the same stock for up to 100 years might lead to some infections along the way. This is one reason I like to start some plants from seed since this might form a break in the transmission of some pathogens. And of course seed propagation is great because it increases the genetic variety of the plants we grow. Tissue culure doesn't do this but may give us "cleaner" propagules than those from division.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 11:16AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Oops, I meant to say that I have division-propagated F. rufa (in addition to the tissue culture)-- not seedling specimens. If they were seedlings, then we'd know that F. rufa flowered recently, which it hasn't, as far as we know. :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:54PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Interesting thought, Thuja. Perhaps viruses do slow growth in normally-derived plants, but then, millions of years of evolution would somehow imply that there is a normal resistance to such viruses. After all, non-tissue culture F. rufa grows perfectly well and robustly. The tissue culture plants just grow a bit faster.

I'm thinking along the lines of Dolly the sheep. Note that the clone lambs produced from her show signs of premature cell aging, as though their entire beings were "catching up" to the cellular age of their "mother."

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:58PM
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