News from the In Vitro Plant Cell Sciences Section

Nancy Reichert Named Department Head
Nancy Reichert was named Interim Head of the Department of Biological Sciences which is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi State University. The initial appointment starts August 15 and is for a year.

Valerie Pence Receives Grant
In April 2006 Valerie Pence and the staff at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden CREW received notification of a 5th grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for “Tissue Culture Propagation of Selected Species in the Center for Plant Conservation National Collection of Endangered Plants.” The award is $250,000 for 3 years. The collaborator in this project is the Center for Plant Conservation and CREW will work with 13 of their member botanical gardens, using in vitro methods to propagate endangered plants they nominate for this project–species for which traditional propagation methods are not adequate.
CREW also shares a success story: Previous IMLS funding supported the development of propagation methods for Arenaria cumberlandensis, the Cumberland sandwort. As part of a later project, plants produced through tissue culture and were outplanted in the Boone National Forest in Kentucky last September by US Forest Service staff. After one month, two-thirds of the plants were still alive. Almost all of these survived the winter and many are flowering this season.

Training Hosts Needed for Plant Tissue Culture Techniques
The Board approved the idea of the Phillip White Award being used for travel to another lab for training in a tissue culture technique. This was the original intent of the award. Now we need a data base of people who are willing to serve as training hosts. Please contact Carol Stiff at kck@turbonet.com if you are willing to serve as a host and let us know which techniques you are willing to teach to a student in plant tissue culture. Note that we are not asking for financial assistance for the student but a willingness to share some of your time and space.

Plant Biotechnology Section Budget
Our outgoing chair provided this information on the Plant Activity Fund from the last three calendar years. Once 2006 expenses are factored in, our reserves will be considerably lower. Based on this information, the Plant Biotechnology Section is evaluating its finances and procedures so as to ensure long-term sustainability and well being of the section and the society. We welcome ideas (and donations!).

PAF Summary Report: Balances as of December 31 for the years listed

2005
2004
2003
Net assets, beginning of year
63,218.76
95,437.70
81,160.46
Revenue – contributions
17,750.00
24,750.00
39,000.00
Expenses
26,995.00*
56,718.94
24,722.76
Net assets, end of year
53,973.76
63,468.76
95,437.70

*NOTE: $6,425 not deducted yet (10% fee, Ed. Asst.)