onion root tips

James R. Baird jrb at pluto.Clinch.EDU
Thu Jul 4 23:35:14 EST 1996


KNOX.J at FS.SCIENCES.WLU.EDU writes:
> Could someone please suggest a good method for growing onion roots in abundance for use in  
> root squashes.  How does one assure a large number of onion roots on the days when they will be 
> needed; how does one increase the number of onion bulbs yielding roots?  
> 
> John S. Knox
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>       John S. Knox          
> department of Biology
> Washington & Lee University
>   Phone:     540-463-8892
> Fax (540)-463-8012
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
John.  I can almost always get enough root tips for an average
lab from three or four onions, medium size.  It is helpful to
make a thin slice at the bottom of the bulb, exposing fresh
stem tissue.  Place the bulb on a beaker,or other suitable
container, filled with water.  About one-third of the bulb
should be in the water.  I usually just place them in any
convenient location (dark or otherwise), and within about four
to six days there are a dozen or so roots from each bulb.  I
have found it best to harvest them when they are no more than
about one cm long.  I use Carnoy's solution, and seem to get
more mitotic phases if this is done around midnight (mitosis
does seem to be rhythmic).  It also helps to have one good bulb
for the students to harvest their own roots.
	Rex Baird 
	Clinch Valley College
	jrb at clinch.edu 



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