February 2004 Meeting – USDA

Saturday, February 28th, 2004 at 5:15 pm

I. USDA Tissue Culture Lab

    The tour was interesting, and we made two very good new contacts – our guide herself went out of her way to help us, and is interested in our group herself, and in helping us find what we need in the future. So it was gold just on that alone.

    But our guide also introduced us to a former coworker in the field of plant TC, and she is a gem as well. Enthusiastic, helpful, and willing to help more in the future.

    The prospect of future consultation, assistance, and advice that was offered far exceeded anything I had even thought about – it never dawned on me that they would offer such help.

II. USDA Trip in Pictures – Ghazanfar Ghori

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!
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…
I’ll be honest – I was more interested in the bees.
Bee Closeup!
After the brief overview – we got a tour of the grounds. First stop – WOAH! What a big pile of ##!@#$!
…and we got to see where this all comes from.
..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!
…finally we made it to the TISSUE CULTURE LAB!
Robert lagging behind – hoping to pocket one of the hoods when noone’s looking.
Trying to absorb as much information as possible…
What’s this? Tissue culture of a common aquarium plant!
Hey! Wait a second. Is that…? GASP! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
A closer look. 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…
The green house…