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Tc vs seed grown plants for basal shoots

Esteemed Colleagues,

In general, the TC plants from The Nepenthes Nursery tend to produce more basal shoots at an earlier age than my seed grown plants. I'm wondering if tissue culture (TC) plants tend to do this more often than seed grown plants. When my plants get bigger and start draping over the edge of the pots, this will spurn basal shoot growth. Especially if they're not staked upright. Has anyone else had this experience with their TC plants. Especially from Wistuba?? And this isn't just limited to more vigorous plants like N. alata, N. maxima, etc. Things like N. lowii and N. mira have shot small basals when young and they're fairly slow growers.

Thanks as always,

Nepenthes Around the House
The hormones in the TC media often force the plants to produce multiple shoots from the callus tissue. They may also inhibit the auxin within the plant so that lateral buds break dormancy when they might otherwise not in a seed grown plant. My understanding is it takes some time, after the plants come out of the lab, before the hormone effects are worn off.

Short answer yes. Although I think you will also find it is lab dependent because of different methods and media formulations they might be using.


I've noticed that when I get TC plants there are usually multiple growing points. Then after some time, the points usually die off and leave one strong growing point. Although on some occasions, these plants have multiple growing crowns on a relatively small plant. Would you say that seed grown plants are hardier than TC plants in general? Or would you say that when small, TC plants can have some deformities or go through some weird growth phases that dissipate as the plant gets to a certain size? I like to grow seed grown plants for the basic fact that you can get a different clone than everybody else as well as a chance to have a different sex plant than a TC cultured plant. Although seed grown plants seem to be more expensive than TC plants. I think you raise some interesting aspects to growing TC "seedlings" as opposed to seed grown seedlings Tony. Thanks for the great insight!

Nepenthes Around the House
When explants are in tissue culture, you can add one of several growth hormones that produce callus formation, cell and shoot tip multiplication and growth factors. When in the multiplication stage, the lab technician wants his clone to multiply rapidly. There is a certain stage when plants can and will endure excess multiplication growth factors. But if left in this environment of multiplication for too long a period, they will just continue to replicate itself even as they develop into plantlets. Such is an example of why some tc orchid plants produce more shoot development and growth than the plant is capable of enlargening into more mature tissue. In many instances, the shoots will die as the plant is not capable of allowing that many to develop on a usually small or incapable root system.
Plus with nepenthes, seeds are used for tc explants and since many seeds have never been matured plants yet, many have hormonal imbalances due to the tc process. And of course its totally by chance that the seed you decided to replicate is worth the process and trouble!