Requirements of a tissue culture laboratory

A plant tissue culture laboratory has several requirements to enable a successful work.

It is possible to establish tissue cultures with a minimalistic set of equipment, suitable for low budget or teaching/demonstrating projects (Kitchen Culture).

On a scientific or commercial level, the requirements typically raise to build and maintain a safe and reliable infrastructure.

Short overview about several requirements

Cleaning capabilities
Washing and storage of glass-, plastic- and other labwares can not be avoided and should be performed in a way which allows to provide clean conditions. For commercial purposes, an industrial dish washer is desirable. Contaminated culture vials should be autoclaved before washing or discarding to minimize spreading of bacterial and fungal contaminants.

Medium preparation
The preparation of plant tissue culture media requires capabilities for sterilization and proper storage of reagents and stock solutions. The preparation is a critical step in tissue culture work in which great precision is required.

Water
Tap water is not recommended for medium preparation and cleaning steps, as it contains impurities such as inorganic and organic compounds and microorganisms. Suitable water quality can be obtained through distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis. Depending on the available water quality, a combination of those methods is required.

Sterile working area
Enables aseptic handling of plant material. The best environment can be provided through a laminar flow hood, which are commercially available.
Equipment Entry: Laminar flow cabinet

Culture environment

The maintenance of cultures is optimal under controlled conditions of temperature, light and humidity. Environmental chambers support the reproducibility of protocols and protect sensitive cultures by retaining the control over physical parameters.

Culture observation
The inspection of cultures is critical and should be performed in regular intervals. It helps to keep the survival capacity at high rates.