Issue 42.2 April - June 2008
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President's Report

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New Members

New Editor-in-Chief of IVP



Research News

The Mina J. Bissell Award

NEW Article Series

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Education News


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                 News from the PBS Section

A classroom exercise in hand pollination and in vitro asymbiotic orchid seed germination

Biotechnology for the Dogs: Carol Stiff, President of Kitchen Culture Kits Inc., recently offered a benefit plant tissue culture workshop in Milton, Wisconsin to benefit the new Milton Dog Park. Carol, who lives in Milton, says the rate of return was about 500%. "I spent about $200 on supplies for the workshop and the donations exceeded $1100 plus we made the community aware of plant tissue culture.

The Mike Kane team has done it again and published an excellent paper on classroom use of orchid tissue culture methods. The title is "A classroom exercise in hand pollination and in vitro asymbiotic orchid seed germination" and was published in Plant Cell Tissue Organ Culture (2008) 93:223-230. Philip J. Kauth was leader on this with co-authors Timothy R. Johnson, Scott L. Stewart and Michael E. Kane. The photos are spectacular and are especially needed for classroom use. Here is the abstract:

"While many scientific reports on orchid seed germination provide germination protocols, few provide concise descriptions of plant selection, hand pollination, and asymbiotic seed culture for use in classroom exercises. Another major limitation for conducting orchid seed germination exercises is the availability of seeds or flowers to pollinate. In this paper, we outline an efficient and reliable classroom exercise using the orchid Spathoglottis to demonstrate hand pollination and subsequent asymbiotic seed germination. Flowers of S. parsonii are hand pollinated and subsequent seed capsule development is carefully monitored. Hand pollination of the orchid flower provides an opportunity to discuss floral morphology and associated reproductive biology. Capsules are harvested 30 to 40 days after pollination, prior to capsule dehiscence. Spathoglottis kimballiana seed capsules are surface sterilized, seeds excised, and then sown on P723 Orchid Seed Sowing Medium. Germination occurs quickly and large seedlings ready for greenhouse acclimatization develop within 4-6 months.

Submitted by Carol Stiff

New Micropropagation book by Joe Arditti:
Micropropagation of Orchids, Second Edition
Joseph Arditti, University of California, Irvine

This greatly expanded and updated edition of a classic reference work comprises two volumes offering a compendium of methods for orchid micropropagation.

A. A detailed collection of procedures and methods for multiplying orchids, including organ, tissue, and cell culture techniques in vitro
B. Presents classic techniques that have been in the forefront of orchid propagation since they were first developed in 1949
C. Detailed procedures are appended with tables and complete recipes for a large number of culture media
D. Includes many illustrations, chemical formulas, historical vignettes, and seldom seen illustrations of people, orchids, apparatus and tools.

Table of Contents
Preface to the First Edition

    1. History
      Terminology, Origins of Orchid Micropropagation, Culture of Tissues and Organs, First Micropropagation of Orchids, The Second, Aseptic Culture of an Orchid Explant, Plant Diseases and Meristems, The Third Aseptic Culture of an Orchid Explant, The Fourth, Aseptic Culture of an Orchid Explant, Who Pioneered Micropropagation?, Root Cultures, Leaf Cultures, Stems, Flower Buds, Flowers, Floral Segments, and Reproductive Organs, Inflorescences, A Patent, Doubtful Claims, Mutations, Theft in Vitro, Darkening of Culture Media, Anticontaminants, Cell and Protoplast Culture, Flowering in Vitro, The Future.

    2. General Outline of Techniques and Procedures
      Media Components, Stock Solutions, State of the Medium, Sterlization, Surface Decontamination, Preparation of the Medium, Culture Vessels, Culture Conditions, Placing Plant Material in Culture, Internal Contaminants, Enzymes for Protoplast Isolation, Work Area, Washing Glassware.

    3. Methods for Specific Genera
      Acampe, Aeridachnis, Aerides, Anacamptis, Angraecum, Anoectochilus, Arachnis, Arachnostyl, Aranda, Aranthera, Arundina, Ascocenda, Ascocentrum, Ascofinetia, Barlia, Bletilla, Brassavola, Brassia, Brassocattleya, Brassolaeliocattleya, Bulbophyllum, Burkillara, Caladenia, Calanthe, Catasetum, Cattleya, Cleisostoma, Clowesia, Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Cyrtopodium, Dactylorchis, Dactylorhiza, Darwinara, Dendrobium, Disa, Diuris, Doriella, Doritaenopsis, Doritis, Encyclia, Epidendrum, Epiphronitis, Eulophia, Gastrochilus, Geodorum,Goodyera, Grammatophyllum, Habenaria, Hetaeria, Holttumara, Ipsea, Kagawara, Laelia, Laeliocattleya, Liparis, Ludisia (Haemaria), Luisia, Lycaste, Malaxis, Maxillaria, Miltonia, Mokara, Mormodes, Neofinetia, Neostylis, Neottia, Nervilia, Nigritella, Oberonia, Odontioda, Odontoglossum, Odontonia, Oncidium, Ophrys , Orchis, Otochilus, Pachystoma, Paphiopedilum, Papilionanthe, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione, Pogonia, Potinara, Renades, Renanetia, Renantanda, Renanthera, Restrepia, Rhynchostele, Rhynchostylis, Saccolabium, Sarcanthus, Satyrium, Schomburgkia. Serapias, Sophrolaeliocattleya, Spathoglottis, Spiranthes, Thelymitra, Thunia, Trudelia, Vanda, Vandofinetia, Vanilla, Vascostylis, Vuylstekeara, Zygopetalum.

    4. Summary
      Culture Conditions, Media Components, Applications of Orchid Tissue Culture, Negative Aspects of Micropropagation,

      Appendix 1: General Information on Supplies, Equipment, Terms, and
      Appendix 2: Sources of Supplies and Equipment
      Appendix 3: Some Sites of Interest on the World Wide Web
      Appendix 4: Light
      Appendix 5: Formulary
      Appendix 6: Atomic Weights, Concentrations, Exponents, Greek and
      Roman Letters, Ions, Measurements, Molecular Weights, Prefixes,
      Valences, Units, and Solutions
      Appendix 7: Additional Information
      Appendix 8: Plant Preservative Mixture
      Title Page of the First Edition

-Submitted by Ken Torres, President, Phytotechnology Laboratories LLC


Announcement of 2008 White Award:

The 2008 SIVB White Memorial Award goes to Laura Moody, a Ph.D. student at the School of Biosciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom. She is working within Juliet Coates' group, whose research focuses on the characterization of Armadillo-related proteins outside the animal kingdom. Previous work in the laboratory has lead to the identification of two Arabidillo proteins, which appear to function redundantly to promote lateral root development in Arabidopsis thaliana (PNAS USA 103(5):1621-1626, 2006). It is now known that these Arabidillo proteins exist throughout the plant kingdom and all share many of the characteristic features of this particular subgroup of Armadillo-related proteins. Laura will explore the functions of these proteins in both rice and moss, in which genes have also been identified. Ms. Moody will use the White Award to acquire specialized training in moss tissue culture techniques within an established moss group in Germany. She has contacted Professor Reski at The University of Freiburg who has agreed to host her training for one week during June this year.

Submitted by Carol Stiff

New Consortium Formed:

The American Consortium for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ACMAP) was proposed by Dr. Anand Yadav (Fort Valley State University) in March 2007 to promote and foster research, development, production and conservation of medicinal, aromatic and bioactive plants to improve human and animal health. A group of interested scientists from academic, government, and private industry agreed to have a regularly scheduled information exchange to share expertise, identify research opportunities, and address technical and scientific issues. ACMAP held its first organizational meeting on 12 April 2008, in Oxford, Mississippi.




Fredy Altpeter and team receive biomass grant:
"The University of Florida's quest to develop cost-effective methods of producing fuel ethanol from biomass received a $1 million boost this month, with a grant package for research aimed at increasing the amount of fermentable sugar obtained from sugarcane stalks and leaves. The three-year grant was announced March 4 by the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint project from the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture. Nearly $870,000 of the UF funding comes from the federal project. Another 20 percent, nearly $217,000, is from non-federal matching funds. "What makes sugarcane an attractive target is, it produces a particularly large amount of biomass," said project director Fredy Altpeter, an assistant professor of agronomy with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The research team also includes three co-principal investigators, all from UF-Maria Gallo, an associate professor of agronomy; Wilfred Vermerris, an associate professor of agronomy; and James Preston, a professor of microbiology and cell science."
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