An Alternative Gelling Agent for Culture and Studies of Nematodes, Bacteria, Fungi, and Plant Tissues


  • M. P. Ko
  • S. D. Van Gundy


Pluronic F127 polyol, a block copolymer of propylene oxide and ethylene oxide, was studied as an alternative to agar in culture media for nematodes, bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and plant tissues or seedlings, At a polyol concentration of 20% w/v, the culture media, semi-solid at room temperature (22 C) but liquid at lower temperatures, had minimal effects on the test organisms. Most of the fungi and bacteria grew as well in 20% polyol as in 1.5% agar media; however, various species of nematodes and plant seedlings or tissues exhibited differential sensitivities to different concentrations of the polyol. In cases where the organisms were unaffected, the polyol media had certain advantages over agar, including greater transparency and less contamination under nonaseptic conditions. Polyol media have potentially greater ease for recovery of embedded organisms or tissues inside the media by merely shifting to lower temperatures. Key words: plant tissue culture, pluronic polyol, polyglycol, soil micro-organism, solidifying agent.