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Thread: New species from TC from cuttings?

  1. #1

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    Hi,

    Pardon my ignorance on tissue culture. Why can't people like Wistuba or Bob Cantley, do their tissue cultures straight off cuttings from plants from the wild, rather than from plants grown from seeds? Plants from seeds take 2-3 years to mature and by then only discovered that the plants may not be pure! Surely, a leaf or two from a plant won't hurt.

    Choong

  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    Hi Choong,
    The main difficulties with this method is that it uses Meristem cloning and Nepenthes apparently can not be meristem cloned. Some have said it's because the Nepenthes becomes infected with a kind of fungus soon after germination which does not affect the plant in nature or in standard cultivation but when introduced to TC agar medium the fungus which dwells within the plants fibers takes over and kills the culture.

    This is purely heresay that I have read I do not know from personal experience.

  3. #3

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    Swords is pretty much correct Choong. Nepenthes are internally contaminated with all sorts of things. If the meristem tissue is excised correctly and a decontamination regimen that kills pathogens without killing the delicate plant tissues is followed, then the technique is possible. Another problem is that the very small amounts of plant tissue involved need to be nurtured in near perfect conditions to survive. All Nepenthes don't necessarily thrive on the same TC media. If the media is just a little bit out, the plant tissue can die even if it has been successfully decontaminated.

    It can be done but it's really very difficult! With such a low success rate, people are afraid of doing it with rare plants since it kills the meristem every tiem you try. Of course, the idea is to get rare plants into TC. Those people that have occasionally succeeded have done so experimentally with common species so far as I know. I have succeeded with N. ampullaria but alas it was a common speckled variety. I just haven't yet had the courage to start gouging meristem tissue out of a William's Red!
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

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