There may perhaps come a day when cloning a plant would be the only way that you and I can obtain one of our favorite tomato or pepper plants for our garden. As survivalists this can be very important to us in order to ensure our continued existence. In that case I would like to impart his article on plant cloning.
When we say we are cloning a plant we are not talking about physically going into the nucleus of the cell and modifying the DNA or any such procedures as that. What we are talking about is scraping the tissues in this case of a plant and effectively growing it in a sterile environment. Our sterile environment in this case is a cultured media.
Plants are in fact composed of live cells and when we have transferred a minute piece into a culture media we are cultivating these cells which ultimately will continue to divide until such time as it provides us with a perfectly executed genetic copy of our original tissue sample.
This is the technique which can be used on any plant which grows on the face of the earth. When a plant is brought in from nature to our laboratory setting we must provide as much of a sterile environment as we possibly can. This sterile status should include every item that will touch the explants as they are called from the Plant itself to the media.
About ten years ago, I wrote a technical paper on sterile techniques involving a micropropagation laboratory and the principles that I brought forth at that time are just as effective now as then. The object is to isolate the pure plant tissue from its natural contaminants which normally would coexist with it in the natural outdoor situation.
Your laboratory should consist of the following items of equipment and supplies:
A Glove Box for doing the culturing in
A fresh plant
A hobby X-Acto knife
Several Sterile Agar filled Petri dishes or baby food containers
A solution of at least 91percent Alcohol contained in a small dish
A paper towel soaked in alcohol
A cigarette lighter or alcohol lamp
The procedure is as follows:
Cloning is a very easy procedure and can be accomplished in your own kitchen if necessary.
A glove box is an enclosed container where you can insert you hands and not infect the items inside. All the following procedures that I am going to explain to you should be completed in the sterile confines of the Glove Box. I can not stress enough that you maintain a completely sterile environment at all times.
Turn the glove box on and place all your equipment and supplies inside. Inside you will place the dishes of prepared agar which has previously been microwave in order to kill any possible pollutants. Also put your sample plant in the glove box as well along with your alcohol soaked paper towel and the remaining supplies. After completing this phase of the process wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap.
Dip your x-acto knife blade into the alcohol and proceed to flame it with your cigarette lighter or alcohol lamp after which you will place it on the alcohol towel to keep it sterile.
Slice the stem of the plant in half lengthwise in order to open up the virgin tissue inside that has never previously been exposed to the open air. With tweezers carefully select a small piece of the plant tissue from within the inside of the stem. Place this small section of tissue in the container of alcohol. Let it sit for several minutes and then transfer it to the center of the agar that you have placed in the baby jar or Petri dish.
Place the x-acto knife into the alcohol once again and flame it as before. Repeat the above process three times for a total of three samples in order to guarantee you will have at least one successful growth.
Set the dishes in a safe place where they will not be distributed and check them everyday. Your explants should remain clean and you will eventually see what appears to be cells multiplying and forming a new plant. This plant is exactly the same as the sample plant that it came from.
There are a number of other variables which come into play as you clone various plants. These variables range from the nutrients that should be placed into the agar all the way to the growth process itself. If you happen to really be interested in this process please by all means ask me for further information, as this has been one of my major interests from years back.
Copyright @ Joseph Parish
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Ayurvedic medicinal plants pictures taken from Kerala, India, the paradise of Medicinal plants. visit www.ayurvedicmedicinalplants.com for full range of pictures.