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

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Sunday, October 16, 2005

    Cryopreservation training for RGC staff

    Rajnesh Sant of the SPC Regional Germplasm Centre attended a training course on cryopreservation from 12-22 September 2005 at the Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Below are some details.


    Until recently, cryopreservation protocols were mostly developed following an empirical, trial-and-error approach. This led cryopreservation specialists in Europe and elsewhere to develop various analytical techniques to better describe and understand the biophysical and metabolic processes underlying resistance/sensitivity of plant tissues to cryopreservation. This new approach ensured the development of cryopreservation protocols in a more rational, scientific and cost-effective manner. In 2002 a project entitled “Establishing Cryopreservation Methods for Conserving European Plant Germplasm Collections” (CRYMCEPT) was funded by the European Union (contract number QLK5-CT-2002- 01279) to address an urgent need to develop cryopreservation techniques and protocols for important European plant genetic resources that could not be adequately conserved using conventional methods.

    Members of the consortium established in the framework of the CRYMCEPT project include seven European institutions with expertise in different analytical techniques of relevance to cryopreservation. These include research on water thermal behaviour, proteins, sugars, membrane components, polyamines, cytoskeletal proteins and oxidative stress. The uniqueness of the CRYMCEPT project lies with the fact that experts in all these different areas work together to investigate nine target species selected using several analytical tools in parallel. This approach allows faster progress both in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in cryopreservation of plant tissues and in the establishment of cryopreservation protocols for other plant species. More information about the CRYMCEPT project can be found on the project website: www.agr.kuleuven.ac.be/dtp/tro/crymcept/.

    The project organized a training workshop to disseminate the results of the research carried out in the project to develop optimal cryopreservation techniques for a number of plants, such as garlic, olive, Ribes, apple, almond, potato, banana and coffee. The workshops aimed to benefit germplasm collection holders in Europe, as well as from the EU international co-operation programme target countries. It was organized by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) in collaboration with the partners of the CRYMCEPT project:
    • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    • University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee, UK
    • University of Derby, Derby, UK
    • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier, France
    • Fruit Tree Research Institute, Rome, Italy
    • DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH,
      Braunschweig, Germany
    Objective(s) of the workshop
    • to create awareness among decision-makers on the importance of cryopreservation and how it can be useful effectively to conserve plant genetic resources
    • to train germplasm collection holders on how to develop and optimise cryopreservation techniques and protocols to more effectively conserve germplasm of importance to their regions, countries and institutions
    Technical skills gained
    • Insights into the cell processes involved in cryopreservation and the analytical and bioassays tools available for them.
    • Knowledge and on hand experience of the latest developments in the cryopreservation protocols. This would be particularly useful in RGC to optimize a vitrification protocol for sweet potato and other crops.
    • Knowledge of probabilistic tools to assist in the establishment and management of cryopreserved plant germplasm collections: this binomial distribution based method calculates the probability of recovering at least one (or any other fixed number of) plant(s) from a cryobank sample using four given parameters: the number of propagules in the cryobank sample, the percentage of plant recovery observed from a control sample, the number of propagules used for this control, a chose risk for the calculation of a confidence interval for the observed plant recovery.

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    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


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