Plant-tc Monthly Archive - March 2000

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Re: Rockwool

Hi Hideka,

The manufacturers of Rockwool claim there is minimal risk form particle
ingestion to lungs or other target organs. Although dusty, you should always
wet it before use. Wearing a mask will help too, if particularly sensitive.
It is not like fibreglass wool which is a much more severe irritant.

The European Insulation Manufactures Association explain that because the
fibres in rockwool are of monofilament fibre construction, they cannot split
down their length to produce slimmer fibrils. They tend to break only
transversely to produce short fat fibres which the body can deal with more
easily. These are not the same as asbestos fibres.

Rockwool varies a little between brands and has a pH range of 6.8 - 7.0
This is alkaline for a support membrane for tissue culture.

Although claimed it does not contain any plant nutrients it is made from a
basalt rock and there are reports of heavy metals within the product. While
this might be acceptable for in vivo plants especially where there is good
quality water flushing the effect on in vitro might be questionable
according to plant sensitivity.

If you autoclave it, it changes its structure and becomes very water
Normally it compresses at the bottom of your culture vessels.

We have added agar to anchor the rockwool but post autoclaving it just
floats on top of the agar.

We tried some aseptic orchid seedlings on such a medium and they did not
thrive so we abandoned any use of rockwool in-vitro. Though you may indeed
be able to find something that likes this form of culture.

Btw. just in passing hope your Magenta boxes do not lead to too much
dehydration of your liquid media or contamination problems.

Hope this is of some help.
Best regards

Alan L Winthrop.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hideka Kobayashi" <hkobayashi4@HOTMAIL.COM>
To: <>
Sent: 15 March 2000 18:39
Subject: Rockwool

> I know this has been done (since I read), but has anybody tried rockwool for
> substrate for liquid media? There are several kinds, and I am not quite sure
> which one it is. In the picture, it nicely fit in the Magenta box.  Frankly,
> I don't want to cut it by myself since it might be bad for your lung. If
> anyone knows how to get those, would you let me know? I am also interested
> in adjusting pH for rockwool and the media. I did search on Agricola, CAB,
> and some other data bases, but nothing really came up.
> Hideka

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