October 2005

The Plant Research Division of CREW at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a collaborator in a grant that has been recently received from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Private Stewardship Grants Program to reintroduce plants of the federally endangered Autumn Buttercup (Ranunculus aestivalis). There is one remaining population of this species at the Sevier Valley Preserve of The Nature Conservancy in Utah, and remaining numbers of the plant fluctuate between 30 and 200, but appear to be declining. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we have developed a protocol for the tissue culture propagation and acclimation of this species. In the newly funded project, we will use this protocol to propagate several plants from each of 50-60 seeds collected from this population. These plants will be sent to The Arboretum at Flagstaff for acclimation. When ready, the plants will be planted by researchers from Utah Valley State College and The Nature Conservancy at the Sevier Valley site to augment the population. They will also monitor the survival of the plants for five years after planting.

Ventria Bioscience broke ground for the laboratory and processing facility for the Center of Excellence for Plant Made Pharmaceuticals at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. The Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, was there for the ground breaking along with Ventria CEO Scott Deeter, VP R&D Ning Huang, VP Clinical Development Delia Bethell and Board Chair Tom Urban (former CEO of Pioneer HiBred).

Mike Horn reports that the Phyton Biotech facility is now at their new facility: 279 Princeton Hightstown Road East Windsor, NJ 08520. You can contact Mike at Ph: 609-426-2520; Cell: 979-224-0105; Website: www.phytonbiotech.com ;E-mail: michael.horn@phytonbiotech.com

Nancy Reichert has accepted a one-year administrative internship. She is now the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi State University.

Mary Ann Lila is hosting the former Dean of the College of Agriculture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Dr. Rida Shibli, on a 1-year sabbatical exchange. He is working on a bioactive compound production system in vitro for Central Asian adaptogenic herbals and also on bioterrorism issues