Step-by-Step Guide for Acclimating Tissue Cultures

Step-by-Step Guide for Acclimating Tissue Cultures

Tissue cultures are an excellent way to propagate plants, ensuring genetic consistency and disease-free growth. However, they require careful handling and acclimatization to transition successfully from the sterile lab environment to a more natural setting. Follow these steps to acclimate your tissue cultures:

1. Preparation

Before you begin, gather all necessary materials:

  • Tissue culture plants in their containers
  • Clean water
  • Fungicide solution (We recommend Mancozeb)
  • Rooting hormone (We use Clonex)
  • Fluval Stratum
  • Perlite
  • Clean planting containers (plastic cups work great for this)
  • Humidity dome
  • Spray bottle

2. Removing the Tissue Cultures from the Container

  1. Gently Remove the Plants: Carefully open the tissue culture container. Handle the plants with care to avoid damaging the delicate roots and stems. We recommend only handling one plant at a time.
  2. Rinse Off the Agar: Wash off the agar medium (the jelly stuff) from the roots using lukewarm water. This medium is nutrient-rich but can harbor contaminants once exposed to the open air. You can also use a clean paint brush to assist in this step.

3. Soaking in Fungicide

  1. Prepare a Fungicide Solution: Follow the instructions on your chosen fungicide product to create a diluted solution.
  2. Soak the Plants: Submerge the rinsed tissue culture plants in the fungicide solution for about 15-20 minutes. This helps prevent fungal infections during the acclimation process.

4. Planting

  1. Prepare the Planting Medium: Mix Fluval Stratum with perlite (roughly a 60/40 ratio). Fluval Stratum provides a stable, nutrient-rich base, while perlite aids in aeration and moisture retention.
  2. Plant the Tissue Cultures: Dip the plants roots in a rooting hormone. Fill your planting containers with the prepared medium, roughly 1 inch deep. Make small holes and gently place each plant into the medium, ensuring the roots are well-covered but not compacted.
  3. Water the Plantlet: Water the Stratum until it is damp (it doesn't take much). You want the Stratum to be damp but not standing in water.

5. Initial Acclimatization

  1. Create a High-Humidity Environment: Place the planted tissue cultures under a humidity dome. This step is crucial as tissue cultures need high humidity to prevent desiccation during the early stages.
  2. Gradual Acclimatization to Room Humidity: Over the course of one to two weeks, gradually introduce the plants to room humidity by:
    • Weeks 1-3: Keep the dome or bag completely sealed.
    • Weeks 4-6: Open the dome slightly for an hour each day, gradually increasing the time.
    • Weeks 7-10: Increase the opening size or frequency, allowing more air exchange.
    • Weeks 11-14: Remove the dome entirely for short periods, eventually leaving them uncovered for the whole day.

6. Ongoing Care

  1. Watering: Keep the medium consistently moist but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle for gentle watering to avoid disturbing the delicate plants.
  2. Light: Provide bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can be too intense and may scorch the young plants.
  3. Temperature: Maintain a stable, warm temperature between 70-80°F.

7. Monitoring and Adjusting

Regularly check the plants for signs of stress, such as wilting or discoloration. Adjust humidity, light, and watering practices as needed to ensure healthy growth.

By following these steps, you can successfully acclimate your tissue culture plants, ensuring they thrive and grow into robust, healthy specimens. Happy planting!

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