Bogus tissue culture 'research'

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Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2006
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In many countries, subsidies are given to University laboratories, of various kind, to sustain their income and survival.

This has resulted in a gigantic amount of incredible plant tissue culture 'research', 'peer reviewed' and accepted by the Scientific Community.

Unfortunately, a large part, for sure over 50%, is completely bogus. Experiments were not carried out, or poorly, and data were added just to make these plausible...

We have a pristine example here, easy to understand:
Looking at the photos:

- a the 'wild plants of vietnamense in flower' used turns out to be a kind of complex Parvi hybrid involving Ho Chi Minh
- b it is a shoot, for sure not of Paphiopedilum vietnamense, with the pattern. A couple days after shoots are planted, in general, in tissue culture, a browning/coloring around he cutting base appears, and there is none. So the shoot was planted maybe minutes, at most a day before taking the photo...
- c is a 2 head seedlings, replated from a ready to deflask, few minutes before the photo ( the media has not change color at all, there is no active root growth, and we see that it was not growing at all...
- d and 4 have nothing with root induction, the structure of the base etc... shows that there was no 'root induction', those are plain seed grown seedlings rooted, from a ready to deflask flask. The 'e' photo is of a seedling grown in a media containing charcoal, that was replated straight in a different, clear media ( the 2 roots that have yellow/white hairs are fresh). So it was a ready to deflask seedling replated in a different media for a couple weeks in this case, nothing to do with 'root induction' or 'multiplication'....

In the tables and data, there are many things that make no sense when one has experience in plant tissue culture. Some data were not even properly adjusted, like the first table, 30 plants sample, survival rate 0, dead rate 0. So they are zombies ?

Anyway, the entire peer reviewed published paper is gone, when one look at the 'motherplant' pictures, a complex Parvi hybrid, and the claim

"Paphiopedilum vietnamense O. Gruss & Perner plants were collected from wild populations in Thai Nguyen province (Northeastern Vietnam). The plants were transplanted into containers and grown under greenhouse conditions at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam (Fig. 1a)"

There are many examples, and that's why it is always important to be careful with published papers on tissue culture. On average, more than half are fully bogus, if not more from certain countries, where units in Universities have subsidies and credits according to their publications...
I will read the study further to see what you mean Xavier.

But on first look at the flower pic, you are right indeed that it is not a vietnanmense at all, based on the pink stained colored staminode.

Have you emailed the researcher to clarify your observations?
I will read the study further to see what you mean Xavier.

But on first look at the flower pic, you are right indeed that it is not a vietnanmense at all, based on the pink stained colored staminode.

Have you emailed the researcher to clarify your observations?

There is no need to do that, they know it fully, that's simply a forgery, like many in the plant tissue culture world. Eventually when they are uncovered, they say, 'it worked that time like that', or 'you don't trust us but we are honest', and done...

They are not researcher, but more money hunters. At a point the largest tissue culture laboratory in the world in the 90s tried the protocols published and compiled in Micropropagation of Orchids for whole groups of genera. A handful worked a bit, very few gave viable, mutation free plants. Most killed the explant or did not give any result at all.

Some of those guys arrange quickly some photos from Taiwan flasks, or growers, etc... or fresh cut plants from this and that.

Most were simply bogus from the beginning, deadly concentration of sterilant or timing, deadly concentration of salts in the media, etc, etc... and showed clearly that the research was never done, and no plants were raised.

There was a trend as well to say that 'science does not need art', meaning, there is no need to have photos of the results, only statistics.

That makes scamming a much easier and simpler way. Not showing a picture of the groups of plants is another reason to have a doubt.

I know of many cases like that, and I was witness of a couple of them. This is another example, that helped to get subsidies and sponsorship, university, peer-reviewed publication:
3 months before the publication, I was a frequent visitor in that lab. There was not a single Paphiopedilum flask. However, they visited my lab in Hanoi, and I casually said that I am using tomato and banana, 40g and 30 in the media ( I forgot to say what else...) and 250mg/l of charcoal as well. So it is in the tables as you can see. they 'tried' this media. In less than 3 months from having no Paphiopedilum in the lab up to having a full 2 years old study, that's a serious time dilation!
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