Mark Bridgen, US Correspondent
Cornell University

The IAPTC&B held a Plant Micropropagation conference on May 4-5 where more than 80 people from around the country attended. The conference, “Micropropagation – Technology and Production”, was held at the beautiful Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. The speakers for the conference were a combination of commercial and academic authorities in Plant Tissue Culture. Dr. Paul Read of the University of Nebraska opened the conference with a presentation on “plant micropropagation: past, present, future.” Dr. Gary Seckinger of PhytoTechnology Laboratories spoke about new products for plant tissue culture and Dr. Jerzy Nowak of VPI discussed bacteria management in micropropagation. Ray Gillis of Agristarts gave an overview of the industry by speaking on “Agristarts in the 21st Century.” After a lunch in the Gardens, Gary Hennen of Oglesby spoke on “Using micropropagation to develop and market new plants” and Kent Kratz of Casa Flora gave an explanation on how spreadsheets can be used for crop planning and scheduling. Dr. John Preece of Southern Illinois University spoke about new technologies for plant micropropagation and Dr. Randy Niedz of the US Horticultural Research Lab ended the day with a mind-expanding presentation on in vitro plant nutrition and media formulations.

The second day of the conference began with a tour of Leu Gardens. Afterwards, participants headed to the University of Florida’s Mid-Florida Research & Education Center where Dr. Dennis Gray, Dr. Jake Henney, and Dr. J. Chen explained their programs. A special Florida barbecue was served for lunch at the MFREC. After lunch, participants went to Casa Flora’s stage III/IV greenhouse facility and finally to AgriStarts I where Randy Strode walked everyone through the facilities.

Members of the IAPTC&B should have received their March issue of the journal In Vitro – Plant. Please contact me at 631-727-3595 if you have not received this journal.

The first announcement for the 11th IAPTC&B Congress has been posted at The Congress will be in Beijing, China from August 13-18, 2006. The scientific programs of the 11th IAPTC&B Congress cover various aspects of plant tissue culture and biotechnology. It includes current advances in plant molecular biology, plant tissue culture and biotechnology, impact of plant biotechnology on agriculture, industry and environment, intellectual property in biotechnology, biosafety and public acceptance of genetically modified plants, biotechnology related bioinformatics and other related fields. To receive future mailings for the 11th IAPTC&B Congress, contact the Congress Secretariat at: IAPTC&B office, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Andingmenwai, Beijing 100101, China. Contact person: Qinghua Zhao, Email: Tel: 86-10-6483-8095; fax: 86-10-6487-8314.