….micro is even better. So found the participants at a recent highly succesful Micropropagation Workshop given by Ros Smith of Duchy College in Cornwall. This method of propagation creates new virus-free plants by using uninfected meristem material and is extremely important in plant genera badly affected by disease.
Over to Viv Marsh, a participant in this workshop, to hear what happened and see his photographs.
” The site at Rosewarne College lends itself to education and must surely be an asset in its change over from the old Ministry of Agriculture station that it used to be. Indeed, you get the feeling as you drive through the college gates that it was always designed as a learning campus for all. The fact that it is in one of the most beautiful counties in England cannot but help to act as a further incentive to complete the long journey down there from Shropshire.
We duly arrived on time at 9.30am in the reception on Wednesday 19thOctober to a warm reception from Ros Smith along with an endless supply of coffee, tea and biscuits. The laboratory was presented and run in a clean, professional manner and Ros was keen to promote it as a tightly run, efficient unit that has made big inroads in the saving and multiplication of rare hardy nursery stock and rhododendrons that would otherwise be lost to cultivation through phytopthera and other diseases. Little wonder that she was able to get funding for a project that is of extreme significance to the industry and ultimately the tourist economy of Cornwall.
After being treated to lunch in the college canteen we all participated in practical preparation of meristem production after learning about the theory beforehand. That, to the uninitiated, is how to take mini cuttings, almost invisible to the naked eye and then raising and multiplying the stock in a sterile test tube. For me personally, Ros providied the final bit of the information jigsaw before we start up micropropagation of the National Collection of Alstroemeria here in the nursery within our own laboratory.”