Vessels, gels, liquid media, and support systems



A deliberate change in the growth regulators added to a tissue culture medium can elicit a dramatic response in a cultured plant. This cause-effect relationship is well-recognized, and as a result, growth regulator treatments are carefully designed based on the anticipated consequences to in vitro performance. On the other hand, decisions concerning selection of a containment vessel, or the physical status (phase) of in vitro media are frequently based on cost, availability, or convenience, without much appreciation for their broader repercussions. In fact, these underestimated variables related to the tissue culture vessel (size, shape, closure) or the medium phase (gelling agents, liquid medium, physical supports) can conspicuously modify in vitro plant behavior, often more predictably and cost-effectively than chemical additives to a medium. The potent physicochemical influences dictated by vessels & gels have frequently been cited (Chu et al. 1993; Fujiwara and Kozai 1994, this volume; Kozai et al. 1992; Obeidy and Smith 1990; McClelland and Smith 1990; Smith and McClelland 1991), paving the way for practical management of these tools to optimize tissue culture systems. Many tissue culture laboratories still operate with the assumption that vessels, gels, and related variables are minor players in development of new in vitro strategies, in spite of ample evidence that these underrated variables exert considerable leverage on in vitro productivity, and warrant more comprehensive description and interpretation.

Key words

Agar Bioreactors gas-permeable gaseous exchange gel matrix gellan gum hyperhydricity liquid overlay matric potential membrane rafts micelle structure microporous membrane micropropagation physicochemical pressure membrane tensiometer thermocouple psychrometer ventilation water content water flux water potentia 


Asparagus officinalis (asparagus) Catharanthus roseus (periwinkle) Chrysanthemum morifolium (chrysanthemum) Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair Tree) Lillium spp. (lily) Picea abies (White Spruce) Pinus spp. (pine) Rhododendron spp. (rhododendron) Robinia pseudoacacia L. (Black Locust) Rosa chinensis minima (miniature rose) 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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