Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 26.04.2012 (Article Archived on 10.05.2012)
Micro-propagation is a technique used to cultivate plants which do not produce seeds, such as ferns, or for vegetative propagation of plants which are difficult to propagate from seed.
Conservation Biotechnology Unit at Kew Gardens Contributed by Liza White – OTEP Plants Project Officer
Micro-propagation is a technique used to cultivate plants which do not produce seeds, such as ferns, or for vegetative propagation of plants which are difficult to propagate from seed. It is often performed on dehydrated spores or cuttings, which have been preserved in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. This allows long term storage of specimens, possibly for hundreds of years.
Micro-propagation must take place in near sterile conditions, as any contamination from, for example fungi, may result in death of the plant under propagation. To avoid this, all benches, containers, utensils and growing media i.e. agar, must be sterilised before use. Also, the process must take place under a laminar flow cabinet. This type of cabinet blows a steady flow of filtered air over the work area, towards the worker, to prevent contamination from the workers clothing, breath, etc. back onto the specimen.
Once the specimen has been thawed and re-hydrated in a sugar solution it also undergoes a sterilisation process. Spores are placed in a filter paper packet and washed in a mixture of weak bleach solution and detergent. They are then rinsed in sterile deionised water before being placed on agar by dabbing the filter paper directly onto the agar. Cuttings are also washed in the bleach/detergent solution before being placed onto agar. The agar containers containing the specimens are then incubated under appropriate light and temperature conditions for germination.
We would like to thank Sefton Yon who has been volunteering with us these past few months, assisting with seabird monitoring and endemic plant restoration work.
He has been a great asset to the department and we wish him well on his future endeavours.
It is now the land crab breeding season, please take care when driving on roads due to land crabs migrating down to the beaches. Please try to avoid crushing our Ascension indigenous land crab.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Cats - Would like to remind all cat owners to ensure that your cats are wearing their collars. Thank you!
Turtle tours can now be booked either at the Conservation Office on telephone number 6359, or via the Obsidian Hotel on 6246. You may also email us on the below email addresses:
Please be advised that due to on-going field work the Conservation Office will open from 7.30am -10am during week days. We open as normal on Saturdays, 10am-12noon, signs will be posted on the door when the office is closed.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.Volunteers welcome. Please contact Natasha Williams or Jolene Sim. Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org