3D printing for the development and evaluation of three novel liquid media systems for plant tissue culture

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Piunno, Kevin

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University of Guelph


Labour represents a significant portion of the cost for micropropagated plants, and automation is a potential solution to increase efficiency. Micropropagation most often uses semisolid media, but many authors suggest that liquid systems are the key to developing efficient automated systems. However, liquid cultures require ancillary pneumatic or mechanical systems to prevent hypoxia or hyperhydricity of tissues. In this study, three novel liquid culture systems were designed, produced, and evaluated. The design and production of these systems was enabled using low-cost consumer-grade 3D printing technology. The first system uses hydrostatics to enable passive thin-media layer liquid culture. The second uses a two-pieces scaffold to facilitate rooting in liquid media. The third device overcomes the main disadvantages of mechanical temporary immersion systems by allowing full immersion timing control and a small footprint. Together, these novel approaches to liquid culture offer new choices to industry and may help move toward increased automation.



plant tissue culture, liquid media, 3d printing