Trip to the USDA Tissue Culture lab

News & upcoming events

Postby Ghazanfar Ghori » Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:36 pm

I woke up at 6 AM - determined to get to Cristy's
place by 8:30 AM. As usual, something came up
at the last minute and I wasn't able to leave the
house on time. After fighting morning traffic, I made
it to the USDA just in time!

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/1.jpg" border="0">

I was the last one to walk in but I didn't miss anything. I was surprised
at the turn out - I thought more people would have
shown up - but it ended up being just Robert, Cristy,
Rick and myself.

So - it started with a brief overview of the USDA...

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/2.jpg" border="0">

I'll be honest - I was more interested in the bees.

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/3.jpg" border="0">

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/4.jpg" border="0">

After the brief overview - we got a tour of the
grounds. First stop - WOAH! What a big pile of ##!@#$!

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/5.jpg" border="0">

...and we got to see where this all comes from.

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/6.jpg" border="0">
..no..no - this wasn't the only one responsible.

Moooooooviing right along....
A calf born of a clone! SOME type of tissue
culture - right? Cooooool!
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/7.jpg" border="0">

...finally we made it to the TISSUE CULTURE LAB!

Robert lagging behind - hoping to pocket one
of the hoods when noone's looking.
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/9.jpg" border="0">

Trying to absorb as much information as possible...
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/8.jpg" border="0">

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/10.jpg" border="0">

<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/11.jpg" border="0">


What's this? Tissue culture of a common aquarium
plant! Hey! Wait a second. Is that...? GASP!
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/12.jpg" border="0">

A closer look.
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/13.jpg" border="0">

Its duckweed!
BTW - the good people at the USDA have come up with
an even smaller version of the plant. Now you'll
just have the throw out the tank if you want to rid
yourself of this plant.


Growing racks...
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/14.jpg" border="0">

The green house...
<img src="http://www.gwapa.org/articles/USDA/15.jpg" border="0">

Over all a fun trip - though I was expecting more technical
info. But - we've got a contact there now! The lady who showed
us around wants to join GWAPA - and she'll look into getting us
microscopic pictures etc! She's also goign to look into getting
DNA fingerprinting or chromosome counts for crypts!

Where to from here? Kitchen tissue culture!
-
Ghazanfar Ghori

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Postby Cristy Keister » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:06 am

Some nice pics, G! I'm definitely psyched to start a few petrie dishes, though I suspect it's a bit more complicated than what we were shown today. Just cut off the growing tip of a plant and put it in agar with a little sugar seems too simple to be true. Robert gave them a short list of plants for which we would like more specific culturing info. Our guide was very enthusiastic about helping us with the project. In fact, if we're successful, she wants to take the info to local schoolteachers to apply in their classrooms.
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Postby jerseyjay » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:14 pm

Awesome trip. I wish I was closer.

Just suprised that not many people were interested.
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Postby Ghazanfar Ghori » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:38 pm

I think the poor turnout had a lot to do with
it being on a workday.
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Postby RTRJR » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:51 pm

For record purposes, that short list was:

Anubias sp.
Cryptocoryne sp.
Echinodorus sp.

The individual in the lab who has also offered to help us said that she was unaware of any true submerse plants having been TC'd (so a long-trm goal pops up there), but she had no issue with our short list which are seasonally emerse/submerse plants (some short-cycle, some long, but that is trivial - they all share emerse sexual phase). There she sees no basic issue and feels we can succeed.

And yes, if we could have smuggled out one of the good laminar flow hoods, I would have been happy to clean out the potting shed.

The labs felt like old home week. <img border="0" src="smileys/smiley9.gif" border="0">
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