Lab Update: Our Work With Carnivorous Plants
9 Jun 2020

Lab Update: Our Work With Carnivorous Plants

Jessica Rosslee

Table of Contents

Here at Plant Cell Tech, we have been busy with a variety of plant species, including hemp and rare carnivorous plants. We love sharing about our endeavors and love hearing from you too. Our latest adventure has been with exotic plants, and we just had to share it with you.

Our labs have been buzzing over our newest endeavor of culturing Venus Fly Traps. After our last post where we shared how our team will be working with these exotic plants, you told us that you wanted to hear more!

Lab Results

Healthy, happy, and thriving - that's the general consensus for the cultures. We knew that with the correct protocols and products, the tissue culture would be successful. However, the rapid rate of multiplication and minimal contamination has even surpassed our professional expectations.

How did we achieve this? Keep reading if you want to find out more about our not-so-secret secrets for success.

Positive Response in Bioreactor

So far, the cultures are thriving in their environments. We have plantlets growing in platform bioreactors as well, and these seem to be particularly happy. While all the plants are currently growing in propagation media, we are finding that the ones that are growing in the bioreactors have as many as four times the amount of developing plantlets in comparison to the ones growing in traditional tissue culture.

Rapid Multiplication

The plants are exhibiting rapid rates of multiplication, and therefore are requiring new containers every 2 – 3 months. For example, the five plants' starting point within a container will reach 100 plants after the third month. While this points to healthy development, it also means that we have to be vigilant and ensure that the plants are moved correctly and at the appropriate time. When plants are moved to new containers, they are always sterilized using this plant preservative mixture. This PPM™ is one of our secret weapons in fighting and preventing contamination.

So far, we can confidently say that Plant Cell Tech's Carnivorous plants are off to a roaring success. And now its time for you to give it a try too. If you are interested in using tissue culture methods to propagate your own exotic venus fly traps, you may be curious to know more about the products we use to get our development so healthy.


Plant preservative mixture, used for sterilization as well as contamination control and prevention.

The trickiest part of culturing any plant species is controlling contamination. If your cultures are exposed to any type of contamination, you could risk ruining your entire endeavor. Sure, if you catch it in time for some damage control, you could save your grow, but this is unlikely.

Preference Center

Prevention is better than cure

In the case of tissue culture, this statement couldn't ring any truer. PPM™ is a broad-based liquid formulation to sterilize plants, treat existing contaminations on your exotic plants, as well as prevent future contaminations from taking root in your precious plants.

Is it an absolute necessity?

No. If you want to run the risk of ruining your experiments with contamination, that is up to you. PPM™ is a cost-effective, superior alternative to antibiotics that we have used with phenomenal success in our Venus Fly Trap cultures. Another major benefit of PPM™ is that it is heat-stable substance and can be added before autoclaving.

What about Antibiotics?

We did not use antibiotics for our cultures, and we are not planning to. PPM™ is the perfect alternative to antibiotics and carries several perks over them, including being a heat-stable substance. What's more, it is unlikely for plants to mutate and develop resistance against PPM™. Antibiotics, on the other hand, are not as sustainable, and plants can become immune to them. The solution? Just use PPM™; it is the more affordable option and is much more efficient than antibiotics.

Gelling Agents: Gellan Gum and Agar

In our carnivorous plant endeavors, we have made use of both gellan gum and agar for the gelling agents. While there has been no noticeable difference between the two substances, a few key points could sway your decision when considering the two:

  • Gallan gum is more transparent than the more opaque agar. Although the opaque nature of agar does not impact the growth process whatsoever, the clearer gallan gum makes it simpler for you to detect inconsistencies and any contamination that has snuck through your preventative measures.
  • Agar is made from specific species of red seaweed and is a common vegetarian alternative to gelatin. Aside from its uses in the kitchen, it also makes for one of the most popular and effective gelling agents.

Tissue Culture: Offering Hope for Endangered Exotic Plants

Enthusiasts from all over the globe collect the Venus flytrap. But since this carnivorous plant is from one specific region, a natural habitat that has slowly diminished over the years, the species (like many other popular exotic species) is under threat.

The advantages that tissue culture can offer modern-day society are only just beginning to receive recognition. Even though TC has been around since the 19th century, the techniques are only now infiltrating major commercial and agricultural industries.

With the overcollection of exotic plants and the habitat destruction for many rare plant species growing in already fragile ecosystems, cloning plants through tissue culture allows us to repopulate ecosystems with the very plants we have robbed them of. The Venus flytrap is currently classified as a vulnerable plant, and we are encouraged that tissue culture could reduce the threat of extinction facing this and many other species.

The basics of tissue culture are simple enough; just a few cells from a healthy mother plant can be used to propagate thousands of genetically identical plants. It is, however, an intricate process that requires specific actions. But don't worry, that's why we are here - with all the tips and tricks to turn you from a hopeful enthusiast into a budding breeder. Our blog is stocked full of useful articles, but if you have a question that remains unanswered, please reach out to us.

Do you have any questions about tissue culture and plants? We're here to help, and always love talking about plants with our clients. Reach out, and let's connect.

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