Compost Medium for Plant Tissue Cultures At the International Symposium on Biotechnology of Tropical and Subtropical Species, held 29 September through 3 October 1997 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, B. Pett and A. Kembu of Papua New Guinea's Lowlands Agriculture Experiment Station Kerevat described a simple and inexpensive tissue culture medium. The substrate is composed of one-third sawdust, one-third peatmoss and one-third topsoil. The mixture is used to fill 120 ml jars to a fifth of their volume. Five milliliters of Murashige-Skoog salt solution plus 5 ml of distilled water are added and the jars are then autoclaved.

According to Pett and Kembu, more than 95% of all sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) explants showed satisfactory normal growth on the compost medium. All transferred genotypes survived on the medium for more than one year of subculture. The authors suggest that the easy-to-make and easy-to-keep compost medium can be used as an alternative growing substrate for long-term conservation of sweet potato varieties and for investigations of their potential for microtuber formation.

For further information:
B. Pett, Lowlands Agricultural Experiment Station Kerevat, ENBP, Laes P.O. Kerevat, Papua New Guinea. Fax: 675 983 9129.