Introducing The Snake Plant To Tissue Culture
10 Jan 2023

Introducing The Snake Plant To Tissue Culture

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

What Do You Know About Snake Plants?

You must’ve heard of the snake plant, right?

Yeah, that plant, which has slender, green leaves with gray or silver horizontal streaks. Aren’t they one of the most lovely creatures you’ve seen?

Scientifically, the plant is known as Dracaena trifasciata or Sansevieria trifasciata, belonging to the family of Asparagaceae. It represents 70 species in the genus Sansevieria.

The plant is native to tropical West Africa, Canary Isle, Nigeria, India, subtropical Japan, Thailand, Zaira, and Brazil. The other common names of the snake plant include mother-in-law's tongue, zebra lily, leopard lily, cow tongue, Saint George's sword, good luck plant, viper's bowstring hemp, and devil’s tongue.

The snake plant is most popular as an indoor plant but it also has uses as a bio-composite, fiber crop, ethnomedicinal prospects, and as a valuable resource of phytochemicals. An interesting fact about the plant is that it was included in NASA’s global list of the top 12 pollution-absorbing plants.

The plant is extremely popular in the indoor plant market because of growing concerns about skyscraper syndrome and air pollution, particularly in residential areas closer to industrial settings.

This article presents you with the methods of propagation of the Snake plant, their limitations, and the procedure to introduce the plant in lab conditions.

Tissue Culture of Snake Plant

Snake plant is propagated conventionally using seeds or cuttings or divisions. However, many limitations are associated with the technique, which includes:

  • Rare flowering frequency
  • One propagule per division and/or per seed
  • Unfavorable phenotypes
  • Nonviable seed counts
  • Higher chances of cross-contamination
  • Slow and poor regeneration
  • Requirement of a large number of stock materials

These challenges impose limitations on the utilization of the plant material and implementation of the technique for the production of the plant at a commercial scale.

It can be overcome by using tissue culture technology. It’s the latest technique that only requires a few cells or tissues of a plant to regenerate a whole plant in a sterile controlled condition.

The Procedure of Tissue Culturing Snake Plant

The procedure given here is taken from the study of Kaur, J., Mudgal, G. An efficient and quick protocol for in vitro multiplication of snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata var. Laurentii [Prain]. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 147, 405–411 (2021).

Explant Collection and Surface Sterilization

  • Take a healthy mother snake plant.
  • Select a healthy green leaf from the mother plant and cut it to 3/4th length towards the base (avoid cutting the bottom of the leaf to prevent contamination in cultures).
  • Divide leaves into 4-5 segments.
  • Wash leaf segments under running tap water for half an hour.
  • Wash the leaf segments in the froth of two drops of Tween-20.
  • Rinse the leaf segments with ample distilled water thrice for half an hour.
  • Under the laminar flow hood, rinse the leaf segments in 1% v/v aqueous solution of Dettol for 1 min followed by cleaning it with 2 × 5 min washes of sterile distilled water.
  • Treat the plant serially with 0.1% v/v solution of mercuric chloride and 70% ethanol, each for 45 s followed by 3 × 5 min washes with sterile distilled water.
  • Continuously shake the leaf segments in all the sterilization steps.

Root Induction

  • Prepare MS (Murashige and Skoog 1962) basal media supplemented with 7.5 mg/L Indole-3-butyric acid, 0.8% agar, and 3% sucrose.
  • Adjust the pH of the medium to 5.88 (before mixing or autoclaving the media).
  • Autoclave the media at 121 °C for 20 min.
  • Excise the leaf segments to 1 cm2 explant and transfer them aseptically to glass jars containing 100 ml of autoclaved media.
  • Incubate the cultures at 22 ± 2 °C, with a relative humidity of approximately 60 to 65%, and with photoperiods of 16:8 h light/dark for at least 4 to 5 weeks.

Shoot Induction

  • Prepare MS (Murashige and Skoog 1962) basal media supplemented with 10 mg/L Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), 0.8% agar, and 3% sucrose.
  • Incubate the cultures at 37 ± 2 °C, with a relative humidity of approximately 60 to 65%, and with photoperiods of 16:8 h light/dark for at least 4 to 5 weeks.

Acclimation of Plants

  • After 10-12 weeks, remove the cultures from the jar vessel and clean them gently with sterile distilled water.
  • Transfer the plantlets to plastic cups consisting of 100 g of 1:5 proportioned autoclaved cocopeat: garden soil mixture.
  • Cover the cups properly with caps (with a small vent) to control drastic shifts in relative humidity.
  • Incubate the plantlets in a plant growth chamber with similar conditions as in a culture room but at a temperature of 28 °C and 45 to 55% relative humidity.
  • Harden the plants for two weeks with spray watering (1.0 mL sterile tap water) of the cup soil once a week.
  • To further acclimatize the plant, transfer the plantlets to a big styrofoam pot(s) containing 10 K of autoclaved coco peat:sand: garden soil (1:2:5 proportioned) mixture. Every three to four weeks, spray the upper soil with 50 mL of water to maintain the plant's health.


Tissue culture is now a popular technique among growers and plant businesses to grow plants at a commercial scale. It’s only because of the advantages it offers over the conventional approaches to growing plants, such as producing hybrid plants, disease-free plants, and the requirement of small space.

But, if you’re a beginner in the area and have no knowledge of tissue culture, incorporating this technique into your business model can be challenging. That’s why we bring a comprehensive indoor plant tissue culture master class curated to serve your tissue culture needs.

Our House Plant tissue culture master class is a comprehensive course curated to prepare you with the knowledge and energy you need to kickstart your plant business. Though it will help you in an indefinite way, here are some advantages of it to name:

Training for the most advanced technology available today for plant propagation—tissue culture.

  • Hands-on experience in tissue culture.
  • Networking with like-minded people.
  • Directly learn from an instructor having 15+ years of experience in the area.
  • Get the answers to your questions instantly from the instructor.
  • Learn how to build your small-scale or in-house lab or how to take your already established plant business to the next level.
  • Work on the plants and learn about the challenges and solutions on the spot with your instructor.
  • Getting a certificate to demonstrate our expertise and knowledge about the tissue culture technique.

And, much more!

Interested in learning more about the course? Click here and get the answer to all your questions related to our master class!

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