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  • Can you defeat FMV by.....

    A while back there was some discussion about outrunning FMV by taking tip growth of fast growing figs and propagating it. Something about the tree is growing faster on new terminal growth than the disease is infecting it. If that is true could one not tissue culture that growth and defeat the disease in that particular plant?
    Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

  • #2
    Fig Mosaic Virus has been reduced or eliminated by Meristem Thermotherapy Tissue Culture. There is only one FM Virus that has been documented to survive the process...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by AscPete; 04-20-2015, 10:42 AM.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


    • #3
      Too bad when tissue cultures get to my house they get infected by fmv. I guess that's one of the cons living in Ca.


      • #4
        If done correctly, then yes, tissue culture can generate virus free plants. Through hormone and fertilizer regimens rapid apical growth is created. The very topmost cells from this are then removed and cultured because the cells should be dividing and growing faster than the virus can spread. It is commonly done for raspberries and strawberries (Nourse Farms does it) as they can be infected by lots of viruses and are commercially valuable crops. Lots of sanitation is important to prevent accidental contamination.

        I guess there are home tissue culture sets you can get now? The theory is pretty straightforward, but in practice it's a little tricky due to the sterility required (I did it in college, needed fume hoods stuff to keep petri dishes from getting inoculated with mold and bacteria from the air). If someone was able to generate virus free CDDs and Black Madeira, that would be awesome and they would make a pretty penny.

        Important takeaway: tissue culture can create virus plants, but not always. If you tissue culture an obviously infected piece of wood, for example, the resulting plants will be infected. Even a piece that seems clean may have a latent infection.
        SE PA
        Zone 6


        • #5
          There is actually a product called Plant Protective Mixture (PPM) that is a broad spectrum fungicide and bactericide. It allow you to work without a sterile environment when mixed in to the medium @ 1mg/L. I geared up this winter but have had zero luck with dormant buds due to endogenous fungi. The second try will be happening soon with new shoots and hopefully they are not full of fungi. Enzymatic browning is also supposed to be a significant problem sometimes. Apical meristem culture requires a dissecting scope so I plan on combining shoot tip culture with thermotherapy.

          Typically, large TC labs use somatic embryogenesis to produce many plants quickly, this reverts the plantlets to a seed like state and rids them of the virus effectively. However, mutations can also be caused by this method, and the plants can also revert to a juvenile state.

          There is evidence that some cuttings grown from infected plants will not carry the virus, I have observed that some cuttings from infected plants grow without showing symptoms themselves. Sanitary selection may indeed be enough to produce healthy plants, whether tested or not the negative symptoms of FMV such as stunted growth and reduced productivity are correlated to visible leaf symptoms. No symptoms = no problem.


          • Rewton
            Rewton commented
            Editing a comment
            Brent, I applaud your efforts to attempt to produce virus free plants. However, you said you had problems with endogenous fungi. Did you have this problem even with using the PPM?

          • hoosierbanana
            hoosierbanana commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, essentially these are benign or beneficial (such as mycorrhizal fungi, which I use) symbionts that inhabit the plant's tissues. They cause no harm to the plant whatsoever under normal conditions but in tissue culture they often consume their host. The outside surface of the shoots can be sterilized with a bleach or PPM solution but the inside cannot. So hopefully this year's growth will not be as heavily colonized by the fungi, otherwise I will need to treat the mother plants with some sort of systemic fungicide before trying again.
            PPM when mixed into the growth medium inhibits airborne spores of fungi/bacteria from growing, otherwise sterile lab conditions are needed $$$.
            Thanks for the support!

        • #6
          Just so I'd know I looked up some prices on dissecting scopes and found they are not too expensive ~ $200.00. I also looked at Tissue culture kits and found one at $190.00. You could get into this for less than $500.00. Maybe a retirement hobby. Both items were not the cheapest and looked decent quality.

          Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a


          • hoosierbanana
            hoosierbanana commented
            Editing a comment
            I spent much less buying individual media items from Caisson labs (there are only a few places that sell PPM), and got tweezers, test strips, ascorbic acid, tween 20 etc. from eBay and am using pint sized pp5 deli containers. A pressure cooker is also needed for sterilizing the media and containers.

            Kitchen Culture Kits include PPM, without it you will need a laminar flow hood, they are large and expensive.

            I thought about trying this for a microscope, not sure if the depth perception would be good though (probably need a better phone also). http://www.instructables.com/id/10-S...pe-conversion/

            There are a bunch of protocols out there for figs, here is one http://www.idosi.org/wjas/wjas9%285%2913/3.pdf
            You can look at a full woody plant protocol book here http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/papers2/bio/...an_%202007.pdf
            Last edited by hoosierbanana; 04-15-2015, 08:17 PM. Reason: Book link

          • Darkman
            Darkman commented
            Editing a comment
            That was very ingenious using the laser lens. I will probably make it for the kids to explore with. Except for the lens I probably have everything else. Agreed I too would need a better phone.

            Just a little light reading only 548 pages! Glad the fig specific protocol was a shorter read. I'll print it out and add it to my Tissue Culture folder.