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Finding a Tissue Culture Lab for Bucephalandra

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In the hobby there is a huge demand for Bucephalandra of the many varieties, which the European nurseries aren’t meeting. For anyone that wants varieties beyond the limited selection from European nurseries, there are two choices:

Firstly, they can import Bucephalandra that has been taken from the wild. This provides inconsistent plants, as suppliers name their plants at their own discretion and taking from the wild threatens the slow growing populations.

And second, if you wish to take a more sustainable approach, the only option is to search far and wide for a fellow hobbyists who grows the variety you want in their aquariums, but they are few and far between and don’t produce a significant volume of plants. A possible solution to this, is tissue culture, but no one else seems to be doing it.

Does anyone know of where I should be looking, to find a tissue culture lab willing to work with a small player like me to produce a small quantity of tissue culture Bucephalandra?

Does anyone know what initial quantity of plant stock one would need for producing a quantity of explants?

Has anyone ever worked for or with a tissue culture lab who could share some potentially useful information?

Finally, what sort of costs might I be looking at?

I have a feeling some of these questions might be impossible to answer, but I’ll try anyway.

I might be out of my depth, but I think this would be a great thing for the hobby.
Thanks a lot.
 
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alto

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varieties beyond the limited selection from European nurseries
Why do you think nurseries aren’t meeting the demand for the many varieties?

How many Buce varieties have you grown out from tissue culture?

(this isn’t meant as any sort of putdown, I’m curious where your thoughts are on these issues)
 

glasscanvasart

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Why do you think nurseries aren’t meeting the demand for the many varieties?

How many Buce varieties have you grown out from tissue culture?

(this isn’t meant as any sort of putdown, I’m curious where your thoughts are on these issues)

The fact is I haven’t grown any out from tissue culture, which is why I’m asking these questions.

There are lots of Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as websites dedicated to importing Bucephalandra from Borneo, which shows that the nurseries aren’t meeting demand.

Some of my favourite varieties Kishii Dark, Pearl Grey, Brownie Red, Brownie Blue, Brownie Helena, Brownie Phantom Mini, Brownie Ghost 2011, Mini Coin and others all aren‘t grown in nurseries.
 

castle

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I don't see why you don't have a go yourself?

Greenhouse/polytunnel - heat. Constant 100% humidity, aim for 22 degress celcius. Get a good stock growing, then look at splitting the rhizomes?
 

glasscanvasart

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Tissue culture could increase plant mass an order of magnitude above a propagation operation. It would require little effort on my own part, just an investment. Trouble is finding a lab to work with.

If I can’t find one I’ll propagate under water as the growth rates are no different and colours are better, so a premium can be charged. The down sides to underwater propagation include the space taken in your aquascapes and less adaptability to different water conditions.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Tissue culture could increase plant mass an order of magnitude above a propagation operation. It would require little effort on my own part, just an investment. Trouble is finding a lab to work with.
My guess is that there isn't much potential profit in growing in-vitro Bucephalandra spp. You would need to find people willing <"to pay a premium for an unusual plant">, and the number of those people is pretty limited. It is back to <"Kalmia latifolia"> problem, if you are a nursery.

Some Aroids are worth big money ("Half-moon" <"variegated Monstera delicosa"> etc.) and my guess is that people with the skills, and kit, will concentrate on them. I'm done with growing rare plants because I might be able to sell them, if I like a plant I'm not going to sell it, and if I don't like a plant I'm not going to grow it.

I can't stop myself propagating plants, but if I have spares, I'm going to give away what I've propagated to people who want them as plants, not investments, it is as simple as that.

cheers Darrel
 

castle

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Tissue culture could increase plant mass an order of magnitude above a propagation operation.

Could you explain this to me? Why wouldn't heavy fertalised water in an aquaponics like system grow buce as well as in vitro? Additionally, why do buce grow just as well under water? Wouldn't they have better access to c02 out of water?

I'm not being combatative, just very curious.



Much like Darrel above, I grow plants as a hobby, and I give all of my propogated babies away every year.
 

glasscanvasart

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Could you explain this to me? Why wouldn't heavy fertalised water in an aquaponics like system grow buce as well as in vitro? Additionally, why do buce grow just as well under water? Wouldn't they have better access to c02 out of water?

I'm not being combatative, just very curious.



Much like Darrel above, I grow plants as a hobby, and I give all of my propogated babies away every year.


The order of magnitude comes from this concept. Imagine you have a plant with 1 end and only that end can produce growth. Then imagine splitting that plant up into tens of little pieces that all have the potential to produce growth. Add some ‘magic’ hormones into the mix and the growth rate is orders of magnitude greater. It’s a pretty cool concept imo.

Bucephalandra grows slow. No matter how much CO2, light and nutrients you throw at it, it can only grow so fast. So even if the light is limited by water depth and CO2 under water is a 1/10th of atmospheric levels, growth may not be (noticeably) limited by these factors.
 

glasscanvasart

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Yeah, I have no interest in doing it myself, let alone the skill. Just wondering how far I can get with some entrepreneurial spirit.
 

X3NiTH

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I figured that hence the link to a hobbyist educated in the field and who is trying to make a success by using that training and going commercial. US based though so don’t know if that would be an impediment.
 

MirandaB

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There are suppliers producing in vitro Bucephalandra but there are so many types they can't do them all and they'll stick to the ones that they have most material of.
Personally I think nurseries are keeping up with general demand and people have realised that the unsustainable collection of Buce from the wild needs to stop.
Still seeing sellers slapping some rockwool round some wild collected Buce,shoving it in a pot and trying to pass it off as nursery grown :rolleyes:
 

glasscanvasart

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There are suppliers producing in vitro Bucephalandra but there are so many types they can't do them all and they'll stick to the ones that they have most material of.
Personally I think nurseries are keeping up with general demand and people have realised that the unsustainable collection of Buce from the wild needs to stop.
Still seeing sellers slapping some rockwool round some wild collected Buce,shoving it in a pot and trying to pass it off as nursery grown :rolleyes:

Though people realise that wild collection of Bucephalandra is unsustainable, they will still buy plants from the wild as that is the only place they can source the plants they want. I myself am about to put in an order for some Bucephalandra that I can't find from a sustainable source. People are and will still buy Bucephalandra from the wild.

Nurseries have provided a sustainable option, but the variety they have on offer is limited. Again they should only do what is profitable and providing all the varieties under the sun isn't, and if I am to find a lab, I won't be able to produce that much of a range either.
 

alto

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I myself am about to put in an order for some Bucephalandra that I can't find from a sustainable source. People are and will still buy Bucephalandra from the wild.
But that’s very much a deliberate choice

I suspect there are few actual varieties of Buce that are available only the wild and not already in collectors tanks, but obviously those removed at minimal cost from the wild will remain the most “economical” to purchase
There are also sources that harvest much more sustainably from wild areas, but again these are not going to be the most economical plants to purchase

Due diligence among those who purchase exotic/unusual/rare Bucephalandra can go along ways to maintaining sustainable wild populations and supporting habitats
 

alto

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Nurseries have provided a sustainable option, but the variety they have on offer is limited. Again they should only do what is profitable and providing all the varieties under the sun isn't, and if I am to find a lab, I won't be able to produce that much of a range either.
Do you really think that world wide nurseries - especially those in Asia and India where production costs are much less than nurseries in Denmark, Germany, Netherland etc - have only tried to propagate a limited number of Buce species?

Did you even look at sourcing Buce through Asian nurseries rather than the non-sustainable source you allude to above?
(there is an increasing number of nursery grown Buce varieties)
 

glasscanvasart

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Do you really think that world wide nurseries - especially those in Asia and India where production costs are much less than nurseries in Denmark, Germany, Netherland etc - have only tried to propagate a limited number of Buce species?

Did you even look at sourcing Buce through Asian nurseries rather than the non-sustainable source you allude to above?
(there is an increasing number of nursery grown Buce varieties)

Ok. Where are these suppliers? Do I need CITES or phytosanitary certification to import? Will suppliers arrange this or will I carry the risk of customs seizing and destroying my order?
 

glasscanvasart

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If we could get back to the tissue culture theme. I’ve seen tissue culture Anubias White on eBay and some tissue culture Bucephalandra on Riverwood Aquatics, both had no branding so I suspect they are from people with a similar idea to me. Unless they have made the tissue culture themselves, what kind of labs might they have worked with and where should I look?

If anyone is unsure of what my motives are behind the project, it would be to break even. All I imagined I would do is find a lab to work with and send the plants to an aquascaping shop. No marketing and no tissue culture expertise required, just enough money to pay a lab.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Ok. Where are these suppliers? Do I need CITES or phytosanitary certification to import? Will suppliers arrange this or will I carry the risk of customs seizing and destroying my order?
There are details at <"Borneo Exotic Plants">, you would also need a <"phytosanitary certificate">.
All I imagined I would do is find a lab to work with and send the plants to an aquascaping shop. No marketing and no tissue culture expertise required, just enough money to pay a lab.
Try @Wookii 's links, but I think the only way you could make this work would be to conventionally propagate (via cuttings) any rare Bucephalandra spp. you can obtain and then sell the propagated plants via Ebay.

If you like it is the "fancy shrimp" breeding approach.

The provisos would be that:
  • You would need to be able to keep the mother plants healthy and in growth.
  • You would need to find a method for growing the mother plants rapidly enough to provide propagation material and
  • have a high enough success rate to cover your costs.
As well as growing a few "interesting" plants I used to keep fish that produced a flow of commercially salable offspring with limited intervention. As an operation it broke even and covered the costs of the tanks, but it severely limits which fish you can keep and is a major source of hassle, and any gains you make can be wiped out quite spectacularly, often by unexpected misfortune, even when the <"fish breeding is a "success">.

A plant (or fish) might sell for £10 retail, but wholesale prices are low for fish and plants. If you are a shop you have a whole raft of over-heads (rent, universal business rate, utilities, staff wages etc), and the actual cost of the product is a minor component of that.

cheers Darrel
 

glasscanvasart

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Thanks Darrel,
If the tissue culture pursuit fails, I will grow and propagate my collection, but not for profit only to trade with fellow hobbyists to grow my own collection.
 
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