All You Need to Know About Gellan Gum
9 Feb 2023

All You Need to Know About Gellan Gum

Anjali Singh

Table of Contents


Solidifying agents are essential components of tissue culture media. They are required to hold the cells, tissues, or explants in a place and supply them with optimum nutrients to grow and develop.

Gelling agents or solidifying agents are structurally large molecules made of simple sugars like glucose. Based on the concentration of gelling agent used in the process, they form a semi-solid or solid medium. It helps tissue culture plantlets to develop a structural network in the artificial environment.

The variety of solidifying agents available in the market in the market include agar, gellan gum, xanthan gum, and isabgol. However, you must know that not all of them deliver the same result and the two solidifying agents most popularly used in plant tissue culture include, agar and gellan gum.

This article covers everything about gellan gum, including what are they, their uses, and some experimental setbacks while using them.

What is Gellan Gum?

Gellan gum is an anionic polysaccharide that was initially used as a substitute for agar in several clinical bacteriological media. It consists structurally of a repeating unit of tetrasaccharide, which contains two residues of D-glucose, one residue of L-rhamnose, and one residue of D-glucuronic acid.

It’s a perfect preparation for nutrient media for plants in tissue culture and produces clearer and more transparent gel compared to agar. Further, it also required half the concentration of agar used in the tissue culture media.

Based on the number of acetate groups attached to the polymer, gellan gums fall into two categories:

  • Low acyl gellan gum: It forms gels that are firm, non-elastic, and brittle because it contains fewer acetate groups.
  • High acyl gellan gum: It forms a soft and elastic gel because it contains a large number of acetate groups.

Advantages of Gellan gum

Here’re some advantages of using gellan gum in tissue culture medium:

  • The gellan gum has more transparency compared to other solidifying agents, such as agar.
  • In comparison to agar, it is used in only one-fifth concentration of agar
  • It is resistant to mold contamination, and it can be easily removed from the plant tissue prior to transplanting
  • This allows for a clear view of the development of the roots and tissues
  • It allows the detection of contamination in your plants at an early stage.
  • It facilitates light-based microscopic analysis of tissue or cells, which is challenging with agar.

How To Use Plant Cell Technology's Gellan Gum?

Follow the given steps to prepare the tissue culture media using PCT’s supreme grade agar:

  • Take a beaker and add 800 ml of sterile distilled water to it.
  • To the water add PCT’s MS Media 4.54 grams (you don’t need to measure it as it comes in a measured bottle), 30 grams of sugar, and PPM™ (generally 1-2 ml/L of media based on the plants and contamination level.
  • Add water to make 950 ml of the volume of the media.
  • Adjust the pH of the media between 5.8-6.0.
  • Add PCT’s Gellan Gum slowly to the media and keep stirring.
  • Make up the volume of the media to 1000ml and wait till the Gellan Gum is fully suspended.
  • Autoclave the medium for 20 minutes at 15 psi and 121℃.

Your media is ready!


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