Plant Tissue Culture of the African Violet

Grade Level: High School

Overview

The African Violet is a great species of plant to introduce tissue culture to your students. The goal of this lab is to propagate as many genetically identical plants as possible from a small tissue sample. It is essential to maintain a strict, sterile environment. One fungal spore or bacterium in contact with the growth medium will quickly reproduce and out compete your explant for nutrient resources. Students should be able to see a round mass of undifferentiated cells, called a callus, form in about 2 to 4 weeks. This will be followed by the growing of shoots another 2 to 4 weeks later. At this point, you will be able to cut away these plantlets and transplant them into fresh medium that will promote the development of roots. Root formation is usually seen at about 6 to 8 weeks. By the end of this lab, students will have the knowledge and technical ability to effectively and rapidly grow their favorite plant species. This is a small but necessary skill that can be used to help feed the world and protect its plant species.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • How to create and maintain a sterile growing environment with sterile equipment.
  • How to prepare a growth medium specific to the species of plant wanting to propagate.
  • How to produce clones of a specific plant species.
  • Growth of plant tissue in a controlled environment into a fully developed plant that can be transferred to soil.