Upward Airflow for Tissue Culture Research

If you intend to use your plant growth chambers or rooms for tissue culture research, it is important to note that your chamber may not be well suited for tissue culture experiments in petri dishes. Should you place petri dishes in your plant growth chamber or room that features either a horizontal or downward airflow design - you may experience condensation on the underside of the lid of the petri dish. Below is a photograph of a plant growth chamber with horizontal airflow that is improperly being used for tissue culture research:

Tissue Culture with Condensation
Petri dishes with significant moisture accumulation is an example of a plant growth chamber with horizontal airflow that is improperly being used for tissue culture research.

As indicated in the above image, condensation is forming on the underside of each petri dish lid. Excess condensation can:

  • block the view of the materials inside the dish
  • block light from entering the dish causing inconsistent results
  • drop moisture on the samples inside the dish and create a water soaked microenvironment
  • interfere with photo documentation and other data collection

To avoid condensation on your petri dishes, ensure that your growth chamber or room features upward airflow. Upward airflow minimizes the formation of condensation.

For best results, petri dishes should be placed on wire mats on perforated air shelves inside the chamber. Airflow directed upward through these shelves at the underside of the dish ensures the lower zone of the vessel remains cooler than the upper zone. This internal temperature distribution minimizes condensation on the underside of the lid.

Also note that stacking of multiple petri dishes will work against the benefit of upward airflow. See diagram below for a suitable upward airflow design with perforated air shelves and wire mat design:
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Plant Tissue Culture Chamber Airflow

The following video is an example of a plant growth chamber with uniform vertically directed airflow. The upward airflow design minimizes the formation of condensation on the underside of the petri dishes:

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