In general, one can understand how to tissue propagate plants in four stages. This is basing on the micropropagation guide by the University of Florida, University of Kentucky, and Texas A&M University. It can be overwhelming for any gardener to learn this asexual propagation method because of its requirements and detailed steps.
Still, tissue propagation is a useful solution if you have limitations with other techniques, and it also opens so many potentials for gardeners. There’s even a growing interest nowadays in banana propagation using this method because of its productivity. In a sense, being that these plants started in the laboratory, it’s also a viable consideration to grow them in a greenhouse until they are ready for outdoors.
How To Tissue Propagate Plants Successfully
Do note that there are many methods on how to tissue propagate plants. You can check out the more detailed and technical guide of the American Phytopathological Society for more information. Nonetheless, the four stages below are the basic concept of tissue propagation, and understanding it should help you learn more technical procedures quickly.
The first stage of micropropagation is the establishment, where you will sterilize the explant. Remember that what makes tissue propagation trickier than other methods is that everything should be clean and sterilized. To begin shoot multiplication, the explant should undergo sterilization with detergent and bleach or alcohol, and fungicide.
After the establishment comes, the second stage is called shoot multiplication. From the name itself, you’re aiming to create many shoots from the explant. This is where you will notice how high the number of shoots produced in tissue propagation is compared to other methods.
To do so, take a portion of the culture and place it on a sterile paper towel. This will serve as your subculture, where you can cut smaller pieces with a scalpel and forceps. Transfer them to another jar and use cytokinins to induce shoot formation.
The third stage of tissue propagation is when the shoots you’ve produced earlier will root to create a new plantlet. It’s typical to apply auxin onto the micro-cuttings to encourage root formation, either in vitro or ex vitro. The former is perhaps the most preferred method to create plants that will adapt easily to a normal environment.
The technique itself is simple, where you handle the cuttings with forceps and then insert them in the rooting substrate. And besides, periodic spraying is vital to keep the cuttings from drying.
The final method of tissue propagation is where you’ll acclimate the rooted plantlets. As briefly mentioned in the introduction, a common issue with plants from this method is they’ll need acclimation in a controlled environment before planting. You can use a greenhouse or a closed polyethylene tent for the plantlets and have them intermittently misted and gradually moved somewhere open-air with reduced humidity and light.
What Do You Need For Tissue Propagation?
Now that you learn the concept of this propagation method, the next step is to know the requirements and equipment types you must have to do the process successfully. First, you need an area that you can easily control and keep sterilized. This is why you might need an autoclave for disinfection, but a microwave or pressure cooker should also work well for smaller gardens.
Next, the items you’ll need in addition to a disinfecting material are cleaners like bleach and hydrogen peroxide. And for the containers themselves, some people use recycled glass bottles, but you can always use other containers such as test tubes and pots depending on the step.
What Are The Requirements For Tissue Propagation?
Tissue propagation is somewhat meticulous. As discussed earlier, sanitation is vital from the plants, materials, and location. You should also check yourself to avoid drawbacks from contamination when culturing, and much like other propagation methods, it’s crucial to use a healthy plant.
You will need a box or an old aquarium to create an environment with clean air for the environment and medium. You will also need to prepare and sterilize the growing medium and ensure that it will be stable and provide the plants’ nutrients. There are different mediums common for tissue propagation, such as agar.
There will be instances where, as a gardener, you need to go out of the norm and expand your knowledge with other propagation methods. One of them is learning how to tissue propagate plants, which can be useful and beneficial in the ever-changing gardening scene. The process itself can be meticulous and have requirements you need to follow, but you can understand it better in four stages.
In general, tissue propagation is composed of establishment, multiplication, rooting, and acclimatization. Throughout this propagation method, everything needs to be sterile and stable to guarantee success. And as you have read, the final stage, which is acclimatization, is necessary to prepare the “lab-grown” plants for a typical growing environment.
By reading this guide and other detailed information from reliable sources, tissue propagation can be a DIY procedure. You can always get creative with the materials, and the benefits you’ll get include a high yield of quality plants. The main takeaway with tissue propagation or micropropagation is to practice sanitation and diligence throughout.