10th Jun 2021
Chlorophytum, commonly known as spider plants, is a genus of evergreen perennial flowering plant species. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Australia, and Asia. Chlorophytum genus includes 200 species of the Asparagaceae (Asparagus) family.
Chlorophytum species are grown as ornamental plants. Some of the members of the genus are beautiful indoor decorative plants and some possess crucial secondary metabolites or medicinal products. The leaves of the plants are 15-75 cm long, narrow, and arranged basally. The roots are thick, fleshy, broad, and tuberous. The flowers of Chlorophytum have small white-colored flowers produced on panicles. These plants can grow up to the height of 15-75 cm.
Chlorophytumcomosum is a common and popular houseplant that is native to South Africa and Chlorophytum borivilianum is a famous medicinal plant, native to India. Some other members of Chlorophytum are Chlorophytum acutum, Chlorophytum africanum, Chlorophytum appendiculatum, Chlorophytum aureum, Chlorophytum crispum, etc.
This article talks about the tissue culture of Chlorophytum, other cultivation methods, and maintenance of these plants. So, let’s dig in!!
Conventional techniques to grow Spider plants
Spider plants can be grown using seed or vegetative parts of the plant. The seeds of spider plants are black in color with angular edges. After collecting the seed, sow them in a seedbed prepared by using farmyard manure (FYM) and leaf litter. The seeds should be shown in the first or second week of June and when they seem ready, transfer them to a field or bigger pot.
The striped-leafed spider plants need enough water for their growth; the rainy season is their favorite. In the absence of rain, you need to maintain enough moisture in the plant.
The other technique to grow Spider plants is by using the little sproutings out of their roots, offsets (little plantlets or daughter plants attached to big parent plant), or division of the parent plant. All these techniques help to multiply the plants in large numbers.
if you want to grow plants on an industrial scale, the conventional technique may not be the hero to fulfill your customer demands. In this case, tissue culture is the optimal choice.
HOW TO MAINTAIN SPIDER PLANTS
The five factors that decide the health of plants in a natural environment are light, temperature, water, humidity, and fertilizers.
The Spider plants require medium to bright indirect sunlight. Sitting the plant under the direct sun can hit the plant's health and growth. So, a temperature of 65 and 75°F are ideal for the healthy growth of these plants.
While watering the plant, do not overflow them. And, it's better to check with your finger the dryness of the upper surface of the plant. If you feel they are dry, it means they need some water. Also, make sure to maintain 24-49% humidity for the healthy growth of these plants. And, it’s better if you limit the use of fertilizers on these lovely plants to avoid any unwanted side effects.
Tissue culture of Spider plants
The tissue culture is a cluster of in vitro techniques and the choice of method to culture plants depends on the purpose of the culture. Here, we talk briefly about the tissue culture of the Indian spider plant—an endangered species.
The scientific name of the Indian Spider plant is Chlorophytum borivilianum. It’s a herb with lanceolate leaves and found in the tropical wet forest of India. It is also known as white musli. It has fleshy tuberous roots that hold medicinal properties and has application in more than 100 ayurvedic preparations.
The plant is heavy in demand because of its medicinal property—300-700 tonnes annual demand. The overexploitation of the plant has brought it to the list of endangered species. And, now tissue culture is being used to save these species and fulfill the industrial demands.
PROTOCOL TO CULTURE THE INDIAN SPIDER PLANT
The procedure to culture Indian spider plant is taken from the study of Micropropagation of Chlorophytum borivilianum: In vitro Clonal Fidelity Test and Antioxidant Enzymatic Study published in American Journal of Biology and Life Sciences.
- Collect 3.0 cm young shoots (explant) of the plant Chlorophytum borivilianum.
- Surface sterilize the explant using Tween-20.
- Rinse the explant under running tap water for 15 minutes.
- Sterilize the explant using 0.2% (w/v) aqueous mercuric chloride (HgCl2) solution for 5 min.
- Rinse the explants with three changes of sterile water to completely remove mercuric chloride.
- Prepare MS media with 3% sucrose and 0.8% agar and sterilize it at 121˚C, 1.06 kPa pressure for 15 min. Before sterilization, adjust the pH to 5.8 using 0.1N HCL or 0.1N NaOH.
- Place the explants containing MS media supplemented with 4.4µM 6-benzylaminopurine (BA).
- When shoots reach a height of 3-3.5 cm transfer them to a rooting medium composed of half-strength MS media with 2.4µM of Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).
- Incubate the culture after every stage at a temperature of 25±2˚C, relative humidity of 55±4% and photoperiod 16/8 h (light/dark) with light provided by white fluorescent lamps with a photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 40µmol m-2 s-1.
- When the roots of the plantlets reach up to 5 cm in length, remove them from culture and wash them gently under running tap water. This is done to remove the agar stuck to the roots.
- Transfer the plants to a plastic cup and cover with a glass jar or beaker to maintain the moisture. Then, transfer them to a jam bottle containing soil rite.
- After 30 days, plants will be ready to transfer to the greenhouse.
This procedure used nodal explant for culturing the Indian spider plants in large numbers. But, if you have other purposes for growing these plants, you may look for other available protocols. Always remember that the choice of explant depends on the purpose of culturing.
PCT: YOUR PARTNER IN TISSUE CULTURE
Please let us know what plants are you growing in your lab and we will be thrilled to share your story with our readers and other culturists.
If you are looking to start your tissue culture lab and need assistance, book a call now with Plant Cell Technology to help you with the process. And, for all your tissue culture needs, check out your favorite PCT store.
- Sunita, Sonali Jana, G. S. Shekhawat. Micropropagation of Chlorophytum borivilianum: In vitro Clonal Fidelity Test and Antioxidant Enzymatic Study. American Journal of Biology and Life Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2015, pp. 36-42.
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