Saturday, October 9, 2010

Went to class on tissue culture today. No, I'm not brewing up my own stem cells, it's about plants. Fascinating class; really makes me want to go back to college. I mean, I always want to go back to college, but now I want to go back and take hort classes, not just the usual English and history classes I dream about.

We got to take some cuttings (each about 1/4" square, which will yield several plants each if all goes well), put them in petri dishes and hopefully watch them grow. We were allowed to use forceps that we sterilized by dipping in alcohol and then putting in a candle flame, and no one started a fire or turned over the alcohol even though the instructor said he knew it could happen because he set a fire once doing it. Nor did anyone cut themselves on the scalpels. I assume this has also happened before, since the instructor said "Don't push down on the wrong edge of it!!!" like he was really worried about it.

While it was very interesting, sadly it's not something I'll be able to do on a home basis. Even if I could manage to create the sterile conditions needed (he gave us torenia plants, which are not only easy to root but can grow in agar that is saturated with antifungal) but each plant species needs a different growing media formula, and the formulas can take like 25 different ingredients each. I assume at least some of those ingredients are expensive.

Of course I forgot my camera; I meant to take step by step pictures. Oh, well.

No comments:

Post a Comment