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nafex - Re: [nafex] Sterilizing scions

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  • Subject: Re: [nafex] Sterilizing scions
  • Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 21:14:23 -0800

This thread is similar to one we had on Prunus seeds. If I remember
write, the major concern is virus (virii?). Chlorine bleach will do a
fine job sterilizing the exterior of the scion, but virus is in the

Cultivars are cleaned up by budding onto a very vigorous rootstock and
then providing optimum growth conditions...maybe just a bit on the warm
side. The warmth slows down the virus infection and the growing tip of
the plant out runs the virus...if only by a little bit.

The very end of the whip is harvested while it is still growing at a
gang-buster rate. It is grafted onto a virus free rootstock and housed
in a chamber. Buds are removed from the plant that is now *hopefully*
virus free and are placed on indicator plants. Indicator plants are
cultivars that produce visible symptoms when infected with virus
diseases. This is a key point: With most cultivars/species, you cannot
tell if a plant has virus. These plants without visible symptoms are
called "latent". Moving buds to indicator plants is done several times
jsut to be sure. If all the indicator plants are symptom free after a
waiting period, the plant is considered free of latent virus.

This process is a little more involved than most home fruit growers are
willing to go through. You need several insect proof enclosures as well
as vigorous rootstocks and indicator plants. But I believe that USDA is
willing to licence you for importation if you can demonstrate you can
and will follow the correct protocols. wrote:
> On one of my web surfing episodes I came across a bit of info from
> WSU about sterilizing the exterior of scions:
> 10% chlorine
> 10 minutes running water, (or agitated/stirred water)
> drop of Tween (drop of detergent will do)
> This is the method Prosser uses to sterilize the material they
> receive from across covers so I thought this would be appropriate
> during this discussion of importing scionwood.
> BTW, too much chlorine or too long in the mix could damage tissue.
> Too little and too short a time may not kill the stuff. The detergent
> and the stirring is extremely important, without these the surface of
> many parts of the scion could escape exposure entirely.
> Kevin B
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-Joe Hecksel
Eaton Rapids, Michigan

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