Using Isothiazolone Biocides to Control Microbial and Fungal Contaminants in Plant Tissue Cultures

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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2120 Camden Road, Orlando, FL 32803.

Controlling bacterial and fungal contamination in plant tissue cultures is a serious problem. Antibiotics are currently used but are not always effective, can alter plant growth, and are costly, and resistant strains can result with extensive use. Plant preservative mixture (PPM) contains a mixture of two isothiazolones—methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, which are a class of broad-spectrum, widely used industrial biocides. The isothiazolones used in PPM are reported by the manufacturer to be nonphytotoxic at concentrations suitable for the prophylactic control of microbial contaminants in plant tissue cultures. Our results indicate that PPM can be routinely added to tissue culture medium to control air- and waterborne bacterial and fungal contaminants effectively.

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