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Autoclaving nutrient media is still considered as the optimum mode of sterilisation in plant cell and tissue culture. During the process steam under high pressure is maintained at 120 degrees Celsius, 15 psi for 15-20 minutes in a chamber, optimised to kill all possible microbial life forms. But the disadvantages related to the process of autoclaving are plentiful. They are, decrease in the media pH, salt precipitation, agar depolymerisation, carbohydrate hydrolysis, volatile obliteration and necessity of the infrastructure investment. Requirements of additional resources (time, human resources, electrical energy) have forced the lookout for a more viable alternative, that is, chemical sterilisation. The use of Sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) is a useful alternative for media and explant sterilisation. NaDCC is stable, water-soluble, non-toxic and easy to use at room temperature, does not have any environmental hazards and is not phytotoxic. The use of NaDCC as a disinfectant has been documented well concerning water sterilisation, surface sterilisation and also as a broad spectrum disinfecting agent. Disinfecting property of NaDCC is due to the hydrolytic release of chlorine, and this can be utilised for sterilisation of media and explants in plant tissue culture. NaDCC is a useful alternative for autoclaving at a concentration range of 0.05 to 1.0 g/l. However, only a few reports are available for its use as a sterilising agent for media and explants for in vitro cultures of plants. This paper discusses and reviews the possibility of establishing NaDCC as an active agent for explant sterilisation and as a viable alternative to medium sterilisation through autoclaving.
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