Surface decontamination of plant tissue explants with chlorine dioxide gas

  • Bhawana
  • Jeannie M. Stubblefield
  • Anthony L. Newsome
  • A. Bruce CahoonEmail author


The surfaces of plant tissues readily harbor bacteria, fungi, and spores making their preparation and growth by aseptic micropropagation difficult. Recent innovations in chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas production now allow for the generation of small amounts of the gas to meet specific needs. This report demonstrates the efficacy of ClO2 gas in the preparation of plant tissues for micropropagation. Cauliflower curd was surface decontaminated with 1500, 600, 300, and 150 ppm of gas for 30, 60, 180, and 360 min, and the presence of tissue surfaces for microbiota were assayed. The use of ClO2 gas in this system decontaminated cauliflower curd surfaces at rates equal to bleach treatment, but the ClO2-treated tissues grew more quickly and were healthier than the bleach-treated cauliflower curd samples. Chlorine dioxide gas potentially represents an easy means to surface decontaminate plant tissues intended for micropropagation that, when properly used, does not pose a risk to human health.


Plant tissue culture Chlorine dioxide gas Cauliflower Micropropagation 



The authors wish to thank MTSU’s Department of Biology and the Molecular Biosciences Program for supporting this work. The chlorine dioxide dry powder generation system was provided by ICA TriNova, Newnan, GA.


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhawana
    • 1
  • Jeannie M. Stubblefield
    • 1
  • Anthony L. Newsome
    • 1
  • A. Bruce Cahoon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Natural SciencesThe University of Virginia’s CollegeWiseUSA

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