In May 2009 I begin work on my undergraduate thesis project. I chose to focus on Drosophyllum lusitanicum. My attention was first brought to this plant reading The Savage Garden by D' Amato. In this book and other literature I read about the difficulty of propagating this species. As a new botany major this intrigue me and I begin learning about Cell Culture and other propagation methods. I knew then that I wanted to give this a try.
Thus far from the literature that I have read through, plants have only been able to be produced in culture when started from seed. The seed is germinated in-vitro (in glass) and allowed to grow for some time before being transferred to a medium that allows the young plant to divide its crown. I felt that the current treatment of propagation of Drosophyllum leflt a lot of doors open. Currently I am in the beginning stages of this experiment as will be evident in the photo documentation below.
Long soaking of the seeds seems to be counter beneficial to the seed. I have had low germination rates in all my seed of the second group. The seeds were soaked for 12 days instead of 5 days. The longer soaking period was to simulate extended rains or the seed floating in a lake or pond or being caught in a depression where water could collect.
For now I am going to leave this project description as relatively basic. In time it will evolve to something much bigger.
The following is a list of experiments to be conducted or are currently being conducted: (details will follow at a future date)...
*Compare 2 basel media and 2 cytokinins in the different base media
*Use leaves, flower stems, roots and anthers for culture
*attempt embryogenesis from produced calluses
*Note the production of a nathoquinone
*Test seed soaking periods
*Use in-vitro tissue for regeneration
The following are photographs taken of the project so far.
The following group of photographs is of my first in-vitro germination inoculated on MS base media
The following is a photo sequence of my best performing plant:
This plant is not being growing on MS you can see the difference of color in the leaves
My 15 month old plant
Below Drosophyllum and my beautiful assistant whose arm is only showing; Estella from Spain.