Calcium And Kelp With Your "Cookies?" | Agricultural Sciences

Southern Illinois University



Would You Like Calcium And Kelp With Your "Cookies?"

December 01, 2010


Plant propagators have been producing new plants using manmade seeds for years.  Laurie George, a doctoral student in Plant and Soil Science, has developed a new process that can yield nearly five times as many plants as the artificial seeds do. Using a mixture of kelp, calcium chloride and tissue culture, George has a developed a “cookie” which is chemically similar to natural seed coverings. Depending on the type of plant, George varies the concentrations of the mixture in the “cookie” and the time spent sterilizing it.  In the industry, there are machines that complete individual encapsulation of the nodes.   George states, “The artificial seeds encapsulate individual nodes, which takes a lot of time and labor.”  Using the “cookies” increases the number of nodes, or plant starts, that the mix can protect. “What I am trying to do is reduce these costs by focusing on mass encapsulation.  It’s a technique smaller operations could use without a high cash outlay, and it can increase the number of plants that might not produce viable seeds on their own, plants that are rare and plants where we need to preserve their germplasm,” states George.  To learn more about this breakthrough in plant propagation, follow the link to the story below.