Blueberry Plant Tissue Culture

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One of the hardest parts of Plant Tissue Culture is establishing the plant in-vitro (means “in glass”).  This involves taking a cutting from a field-grown plant and trying to get it to revert to a juvinile stage where it has tiny leaves and grows vigorously and puts out multuple shoots, which you divide up into more vials to muliply the variety.  These little guys (Sunshine Blue Blueberry) are about six weeks old and are showing good form. 

I tried to purchase in-vitro blueberry already established and virus-indexed from the major nurseries and propagators who supply those nurseries, but none of them would even talk to me, even though they knew I don’t intend nor have the capacity to offer blueberry commercially (hiss-boo on them).  Thus I’m on an adventure to figure out ways of establishing blueberry culture at home, which is coming along nicely; maybe they were doing me a favor…

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8 Responses

  1. What’s that you’re growing them in, Kevin, and what’s the reason for growing tissue cultures? Couldn’t you grow them from blueberries?

    • They’re growing in a sterile media of table sugar, minerals, vitamins, hormones, a preservative, and a gelling agent. I want to export them to equatorial Africa and they will not allow any potting mix through customs; no peat moss, leaf mold, or soil, and blueberries cannot be shipped bare root. Tissue cultured plants can do for weeks without sunlight or water and don’t mind warm temperatures, and are small and light weight, perfect for shipping.

  2. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. If you were answered, this initiative and development would probably not have taken place nor noticed by you. Well done with your research.

  3. Kevin – after seeing Tissue Culture at Disney World I have been itching to try my hand at it but was under the impression it\’s not something you can do at home. Looks like you are proving that wrong. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Steve

    • Yes, I’m working on a guide to help the home hobbyist get started in Plant Tissue Culture. I expect it to be ready by the end of the year.

      • Looking forward to it. I know the general process, but am looking for media recipes that people have had success with

  4. They need low light and high temperature can cook the plant. I do agree that is the best way for international germplasm exchange. Good luck!

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