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NCC to launch lab

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

NCC to launch lab

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THE NATIONAL CONSERVATION Commission (NCC) now has the ability to produce exact copies of plants, bring them to maturity faster, and produce them without seeds.

And it will launch its own Plant Tissue Culture Lab on Arbor Day, on Monday, September 22, at the NCC’s Codrington, St Michael headquarters, beginning at 10 a.m.

Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr Denis Lowe, is expected to deliver the feature address during the ceremony and present six NCC staff members with certificates of participation, having completed the requisite training in the area.

Plant tissue culture is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium of known composition. It is widely used to produce clones of a plant in a method known as micro propagation.

In a statement issued by the NCC, advantages of plant tissue culture over traditional methods of propagation include the production of multiples of plants in the absence of seeds or necessary pollinators to produce seeds, the regeneration of whole plants from plant cells that have been genetically modified, the ability to clean particular plants of viral and other infections, and to quickly multiply these plants as “cleaned stock” for horticulture and agriculture.

Plant tissue culture relies on the fact that many plant cells have the ability to regenerate a whole plant (totipotency). Single cells, plant cells without cell walls (protoplasts), pieces of leaves, stems or roots can often be used to generate a new plant on culture media given the required nutrients and plant hormones.

This year’s Arbor Day celebrations will be held under last year’s theme Trees: The Circle of Life, as Barbados continues its goal to become the most advanced green economy in the Caribbean and Latin America by 2015. (BGIS)