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?
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Posted 5:03 PM by Luigi
Towards a Solution to Kava Dieback Disease
Ms Raghani L. Prasad, working at the RGC, has just been awarded her MSc from USP on the above topic. Congratulations to her. The abstract of her thesis is reproduced below.
The establishment of kava (Piper methysticum Forst.) in tissue culture has been tried by many researchers with limited success due to the high level of contamination found in kava tissues. In this research, a protocol has been established that gives an average 70% survival and recovery of clean shoot tip meristems, using standard cleaning agents (bleach, sterile distilled water and ethanol). With some cultivars, 100% recovery has been obtained. This protocol has been evaluated successfully with 21 Fijian kava accessions.
The optimum medium for meristem survival is full Murashige and Skoog medium (1962) supplemented with vitamins and low concentration of growth hormones. The same medium supports shoot development and root development. Kava plants from in vitro to in vivo have been transplanted successfully with 100% survival.
From this study, symptoms similar to those shown by plants suffering from kava dieback (KDB) in vivo are observed in kava tissue cultures. However, the presence of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), the agent thought mainly to be responsible for causing KDB was not found using reverse transcriptase PCR on in vitro tissues (both symptomatic and asymptomatic). This could mean that either the symptoms in vitro are not the result of KDB, or if they are, the diagnostics are not detecting CMV due to low virus titre in tissue cultures or CMV is not the major cause of KDB. However, further tests will be carried out to confirm this. These tests will involve RT-PCR of kava tissue at three and six months following transplantation in the PEQ.
Morphological studies were conducted on the main kava collection in Fiji. These studies indicate that the collection comprises of at least 15 different cultivars within the 22 accession collection. This collection originally consisted of 72 accessions. This loss, caused by KDB, indicates the urgent need to develop a conservation strategy for kava, either nationally and/ or regionally.
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.