How to Tissue Culture Mammillaria elongata?
4 May 2022

How to Tissue Culture Mammillaria elongata?

Anjali Singh, MS

As a content and community manager, I leverage my expertise in plant biotechnology, passion for tissue culture, and writing skills to create compelling articles, simplifying intricate scientific concepts, and address your inquiries. As a dedicated science communicator, I strive to spark curiosity and foster a love for science in my audience.

Anjali Singh, MS
Table of Contents


Cactus plants has been popular among people for their use in their indoor decorations. These plants require less maintenance than other plants and thrive well with just a bit of care.

Mammillaria is the largest genus of the Cactaceae family with around 200 species and recognized varieties. The Mammillaria name is derived from a Latin word “Mammalia”, which refers to the tubercles of the plant.

Most plants from the Mammillaria genus belong to Mexico. However, the others can be found in the Caribbean, Colombia, the southwest United States, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Honduras. Some commonly known cactus plants from this genus are pincushion cactus, nipple cactus, birthday cake cactus, globe cactus, and fishhook cactus.

Mammillaria elongata, also known as Golden Lace Cactus, Golden Star Cactus, and Lady Finger Cactus, is one of the widely grown indoor houseplants that belongs to the Mammillaria genus. It’s extensively used for the decoration of indoor space or our small garden space.

The plant is grown in the central Mexico region and grows to 15 cm (6 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) wide. It consists of densely packed clusters of elongated oval stems covered with sharp yellow to brown colored spines. It has short tubercles ending in a round and wooly areoles in the young segments. Its flowers bloom in the upper part of the stem and can be seen in white to pale yellow color.

Figure: An image of Mammillaria elongata white flowers.

In this article, we will review the propagation of Mammillaria elongata including its conventional techniques and tissue culture procedure.

Propagation of Mammillaria elongata

Conventionally, Mammillaria is grown using seedling or through putting technique. However, these techniques take a long period of time, introduce high variability, and can not be used to grow in commercial space because of the cumbersome process.

The other alternative to growing the plant is by using tissue culture. It’s an advanced technique that can be used to preserve the germplasm of the plant, grow them on a commercial scale without using many mother plants, produce disease-free plants, and require less space for the production of massive numbers of plants.

The procedure of Tissue Culture of Mammillaria elongata

The tissue culture procedure mentioned here is taken from the fourth edition book of Plants From Test Tubes: An Introduction to Micropropagation, written by Lydiane Kyte, John Kleyn, Holly Scoggins, and Mark Bridgen, and published by the Timber Press Inc in 2013.

  • Explant
  • Take tubercles with part of the apical branch from the base of the mother plant. Tubercles are round nodules or wart outgrowth present in plants.
  • Surface Sterilization
  • Prepare a sterilization solution with a fungicide and 0.5% Tween 20 and put the cut explants from the plant into the solution for one hour.
  • Trim off the spines and then disinfect the explant with 70% ethanol for 60 seconds followed by 1:10 bleach for 15–30 minutes.
  • Now prepare a solution with 2 parts bleach and 8 parts water (2:10 bleach). Transfer the explants from the previous bleach solution to the currently prepared one and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse the explants with three changes of sterile distilled water for 2 minutes each.
  • Establishment and Multiplication
  • Prepare a culture medium, which will be used for both stages I and stage II of tissue culture, with the following components.
Compound Composition (mg/liter)
MS salts 4,628
Sodium phosphate   85
Adenine sulfate 80
Inositol 100
Thiamine HCl 30
Nicotinic acid 10
Pyridoxine HCl 1.0
BA 0.1
NAA 0.2
Sucrose 30,000
Agar 8,000
  • Adjust the pH of the prepared medium to 5.7-5.8.
  • Autoclave the medium but make sure of the heat-labile hormones, such as NAA and BA. Add these hormones after autoclaving the whole medium and then add them using the filter sterilization technique.
  • Pour around 15-20 ml medium in your desired culture vessels and then culture your explant into the medium.
  • Keep the explant in a light condition of 200–300 f.c. from cool-white fluorescent light for 16 hours light/8 hours dark and set up the temperature between 25°C–27°C (77°F–81°F).
  • The same steps can be repeated for the multiplication stage
  • Rooting stage
  • Mammillaria can root easily and that’s why this step can be skipped.
  • Acclimatization
  • Transfer the grown plants to the greenhouse in pots containing a peat/vermiculite/perlite (2/1/1) soil mix,
  • Cover the plant using plastic, and then for acclimation gradually increase the hole made into the plastic cover.

How Plant Cell Technology Is Helping Culturists Worldwide In Their Tissue Culture Application?

Plant Cell Technology is helping tissue culturists around the world by providing unique and world-class products and services that smoothen their process. It has MS media, agar, gellan gum, Plant Preservative Mixture (PPM), culture vessels, Biocoupler (TM), and masks in its store to facilitate your processes.

And, that’s not it! Plant Cell Technology also offers consultation services to culturists of all sizes that help to get instant solutions to your tissue culture problems.

So, visit today and find out more about our product and services and how they help you to excel in your tissue culture processes.

Happy Culturing!!

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