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7 Setting Up a Home Plant Tissue Culture Lab

Crude setup for successful plant tissue culture.Home-based laboratories have a number of options and combinations which can be used to successfully practice plant tissue culture. Dedicated rooms used for tissue culture can be as successful as using the kitchen table. The organization, planning, and patience are key to a successful tissue culture project.

Draft free and traffic-free areas will give you the best success. Lots of bacteria and fungus spores drift with air movement. Avoid dust and spores from landing on cultures under the hood. Find a quiet and still area for your workspace and hood.

Consider that chemicals will be used so avoid areas where this may present a problem. Don’t get chemicals on or in home items and avoid staining or damaging floors or tables. Make sure your equipment is dedicated to your plant tissue culture and not moved back and forth from the kitchen cupboard.

Some plant tissue culture supplies need to be stored in a freezer or refrigerator. It is best to have a dedicated mini refrigerator to use only for plant tissue culture. With extreme care and caution some do use their household refrigerator and freezer.

If using the household refrigerator or freezer make absolutely certain everything is marked with extreme care as to what it is. Remember exposure and contact with some particular chemicals can cause irreversible organ failure resulting in death.

A used mini refrigerator freezer is ideal as a dedicated cold storage for materials needing refrigeration. Everything must be labeled clearly. Powders and concentrated chemicals should be labeled and stored in the freezer section.

A desk or table should be neat and organized to avoid confusion and accidents. Sit directly in front of a flow hood and at a comfortable working height.

On the left place a spray bottle of disinfectant along with a roll of clean paper towels in case of an accident. On the right side place items that will go into the hood. This makes it easy to pick up an item with the right hand and spray it with disinfectant using the left hand as it is placed under the hood.

Having a workspace neat and orderly will reduce movements and help prevent contamination in jars. Have a trashcan handy near your feet to dispose of used paper towels or gloves quickly, easily, and properly.

Many operations do not need to be performed at your clean hood area. Making media or sterilizing explants can be done in a different location. Of course all of this can be done in one area if needed. Neatly organizing and storing materials will save a lot of time and prevent accidents.

Always make sure chemicals are clearly labeled and out of reach of children and irresponsible adults. While most of the chemicals that you will be working with are safe and will not likely cause immediate death or injury it nonetheless can be very dangerous if handled improperly.

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