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Laminar air flow cabinet

Green solutions for tissue culture using a laminar air flow cabinet

posted on: December 20th, 2012
Vertical and horizontal laminar flow systems are already widely used in science and industry. The systems are now finding their way into the conservation arena, to help with such things as the propagation of rare orchids.

The laminar flow hood is an essential tool in tissue culture, offering a high level of protection to both plant and animal cell populations. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in plant tissue culture among conservationists, who have developed new techniques of plant propagation to preserve dwindling populations of wild flowers. The Ron Determann Tissue Culture Laboratory at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is one such faculty. They are working on new propagation methods that can be passed on to commercial laboratories, easing the strain on threatened native wild stocks. They also aim to restore rare species which have been eradicated from their native habitats.

The importance of the laminar flow bench to botanical conservation

While thousands of clones can be produced from one small section of plant tissue, seed propagation allows genetic diversity. A single orchid pod can generate millions of individual seeds. However, these can only germinate in the presence of a fungal partner; a difficult process which must be carried out within a laminar flow cabinet.

To prevent contamination, both the seeds and the flasks of nutrient used for the culture must be sterilised before being introduced to the cabinet. In the UK, pupils at the Writhlington School in Somerset have been using a laminar flow bench to propagate orchids from seed; a valuable lesson in both aseptic technique and conservation.
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Contained Air Solutions Ltd, Unit 4, Greengate, Middleton Junction, Manchester, M24 1RU. Tel +44(0)161 655 8860 Fax: +44(0)161 655 8865 Email: info@containedairsolutions.co.uk