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?
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Posted 4:18 PM by Luigi
Cutting-edge potatoes for Zimbabwe (and the Pacific?)
Another article from the latest Spore from CTA of possible relevance to the Pacific.
"Born again" sweet potato plants developed by a team of local scientists employed by Zimbabwe company Agri-Biotech are helping small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe to weather the country’s food crisis. The plants make it possible for a 30-m square plot to feed a family of seven all year round. Over 35,000 people have benefited in the past 2 years and supplies have reached eight of Zimbabwe's 56 districts.The scientists call the plants "born again" because they have found a way of removing the virus that plagues sweet potato crops.
In a GM-free tissue culture process, they literally employ cutting-edge science. They dissect out the 0.25 mm tip of the bud, which is free from viruses and other micro-organisms, and throw the rest away. They then grow the bud tip in a test tube for 9 months into a virus-free plant, and keep on sub-culturing it to increase numbers.From there they transplant the plants into plastic greenhouse tunnels and take cuttings from them. These are bought by donors, such as the Swedish Cooperative Centre, which funded Agri-Biotech to supply 3,000 starter plants to 160 nursery farmers. The virus cleansing is not permanent and farmers return for new clean material every few years.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.