Micromachines to Automate Plant Tissue Culture
Last Update: 2020-11-21
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This chapter is concerned with the use of mechanical and electronic techniques (i. e., the Automated Plant Culture System [APB]) to aid in the sterile cultivation of plants for the purpose of prolonging culture life and/ or increasing yields over that obtained from conventional technology (
). The use of machines to facilitate the culturing of plants in vitro is common (e. g., shakers, roller bottle apparatuses, incubators, magnetic stirrers, and roller drums). However, current techniques employed in plant tissue culture (i. e., agar or liquid culture), developed about 30 yr ago, are highly labor intensive because of the requirement for numerous hand-plant interactions in the culturing of plants in a sterile environment. Culture of any plant in vitro requires periodic transferring to fresh medium. Nutrient medium is either exhausted and/or altered by plant cultures, thus requiring the constant transfers to fresh medium (usually every 4-8 wk or sooner). The system presented in this chapter is meant to reduce dependence on labor through substitution of hand-plant interactions with machine-plant interactions via automatic medium replenishment (
). The APCS culture vessel is, therefore, large enough to accommodate the increasing plant culture size associated with long-term growing of plants in a single culture vessel.
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