NaDCC Pool Chemical as an Explant Sterilization Tool

IMG_6346Sterilization of your explants for plant tissue culture is a very important step in creating cultures of viable productive vessels.  There are many ways to go about sterilizing plant material to inoculate your cultures with a new plant.  NaDCC is a very effective and affordable means for those that practice plant tissue culture at home or with a basic lab setup.

NaDCC is Sodium dichloroisocyanurate and commonly available as a pool chemical for disinfecting the swimming water.  There are many places that sell this as a pool chemical and it is relatively easy to procure for sterilizing explants as well as other uses.

Mix solutions in smaller batches so that you can use them before they age too long and possibly lose some of their effectiveness.

Phytotoxicity is generally low when using lower concentrations of NaDCC.  It is more gentle than bleach and alcohol.  Since it is more gentle on the plant tissue, the plant material is less likely to die.

Delicate plants like the traps from Venus flytraps and the pitchers from sarracenia a lower PPM of chlorine would be good. 

Older material that has been exposed to the outside may have a lot of contaminants on them.  Hardwood cuttings when trying to use buds might be a good example of when to use NaDCC.

After deciding whether you need a high or low concentration (this is explained in the book) you must mix the NaDCC to a PPM (parts per million) that you plan on using.  The first step is finding the concentration that is in the powder form you bought.  There are several PPM levels you should investigate.

NaDCC is not an end all cure all solution to sterilizing explant material but it definitely has its merits and uses.  It is easy to find and it is easy to work with.  The powder mixes easily and stores easily as does the liquid solution.  Dollar for dollar it’s a hands down contender with those practicing plant tissue culture at home or at the hobby level.

Learn more about how to practice plant tissue culture in Plant Tissue Culture: A Home-Based Guide (How to Practice Plant Tissue Culture on a Budget) by ordering from Amazon either printed or ebook.


– by Edward Johnson

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