A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Monday, January 03, 2005
Posted 3:03 PM by Luigi
Update on Research at the SPC Regional Germplasm Centre
Kava tissue culture
A protocol for establishing kava in tissue culture has been developed at the Regional Germplasm Centre (RGC), which gives an average of 70 to 80% survival using shoot-tip meristems. The protocol has been successfully evaluated with 17 named Fijian cultivars. This project was initiated to address the problem of kava dieback, which has caused 40 to 100% crop loss in certain areas of Fiji. There is evidence that CMV virus is the main cause of the disease, and therefore meristem culture could assist in the elimination of the virus from the plant tissue. Virus indexing is currently in progress to test the efficacy of meristem culture in eliminating CMV. The use of clean planting material and appropriate cultural practices will help reduce the spread of the dieback disease. An added benefit of the tissue culture system is that multiplication rate of kava in vitro is much higher than what is obtained conventionally. Tissue culture can therefore solve the crisis of limited planting materials that the farmers often face.
A cryopreservation method for taro is under evaluation at the RGC. This is a continuation of the work carried out by Rajnesh Sant for his Masters. The vitrification protocol presented in the Masters thesis was revised after a visit from Dr Bart Panis from INIBAP and results are very promising. Recovery rates of 100% have been achieved for several cultivars from the TaroGen collection. The response of other cultivars is currently being investigated but it is expected that this protocol could be used to cryopreserve the Pacific taro collection.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.