News from the In Vitro Plant Cell Sciences Section

Valerie Pence reports a successful reintroduction of endangered plants. Plants of the Federally endangered Arenaria cumberlandensis (Cumberland sandwort) were produced by micropropagation in the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Endangered Plant Propagation Program in 2005 and were used for an experimental outplanting at a site in the Daniel Boone National Forest in southern Kentucky. More than half the plants survived the first winter and flowered in 2006. This summer a visit to the site revealed that the plants had produced seedlings and are now a reproducing population, demonstrating the value of in vitro propagation for increasing the numbers of this species in the wild.

University of Florida, Plant Restoration, Conservation and Propagation Biotechnology Program has several recent graduates. Scott Stewart successfully defended his dissertation research entitled: “Integrated Conservation of Florida Orchidaceae in the General Habenaria and Spiranthes: Model Orchid Conservation Systems for the Americas” in July 2007. Scott developed both asymbiotic and symbiotic seed culture techniques for his research. Scott is currently employed as a R&D Scientist at PhytoTechology Laboratories in Shawnee Mission, KS. Tim Johnson successfully completed his Masters Thesis research on: “Asymbiotic Seed germination of Vanda Hybrids”. Tim was a recent recipient of a four-year University of Florida Alumni Fellowship to pursue doctoral studies. He will continue to work under the direction of Dr. Mike Kane. Several new cooperative research agreements were developed with the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service to continue research funding on production and reintroduction of native orchids at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

New Book: Barbara Reed, USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository, recently finished editing “Plant Cryopreservation: A Practical Guide.” This book is a unique resource for plant scientists in many fields as it provides over 100 ready-to-use protocols for plant types from algae and bryophytes to a range of flowering plants and seeds. The chapters include techniques for diverse plant parts such as dormant buds, pollen, and apical meristems, and for suspension and callus cultures. Five introductory chapters describe theoretical principles, practical aspects of long-term cryopreserved storage, and details of the main cryopreservation techniques. The remaining 14 chapters are separated by plant type. Each chapter briefly reviews the literature and includes ready-to-use protocols designed for easy transfer into the lab and adaptation to new species. It is published by Springer.

Submitted by Barbara Reed
(Editor’s note: this book is available at )

PhytoTechnology Laboratories™ Hires Dr. Scott Stewart as Research and Development Scientist

Scott L. Stewart

Lenexa, KS – 1 September 2007: PhytoTechnology Laboratories has hired Dr. Scott Stewart as a Research and Development Scientist. Dr. Stewart’s duties with the company include research and development, product development, and technical assistance.

Dr. Stewart’s research career includes nearly 10 years of work in the areas of in vitro orchid seed germination and orchid propagation. Additionally, he is a leader in the field of the utilization of in vitro propagation techniques to rare and endangered plant conservation and ecology, as well as the development of plant conservation and propagation programs. Dr. Stewart’s work with the propagation of North American native orchids has been previously funded by grants from federal agencies, private organizations, and state agencies.

“We are fortunate to have an individual of Dr. Stewart’s caliber join our growing technical services staff,” said Dr. Ken Torres, President of PhytoTechnology Laboratories.

Most recently, Dr. Stewart helped to establish a native orchid conservation and propagation program, which included the construction of a tissue culture laboratory, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Naples, Florida. This work was conducted as a partnership between the USFWS and Dr. Michael Kane’s laboratory at the University of Florida, Environmental Horticulture Department.

Dr. Stewart earned his B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Illinois College (Jacksonville, Illinois), and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida).

About PhytoTechnology Laboratories™
PhytoTechnology Laboratories ( manufactures and distributes products to the plant tissue culture, plant biotechnology, and plant science markets. Their products are used to mass propagate plants on sterile culture media in laboratory settings. They also supply products for the genetic improvement of plants through gene transformation research. Manufacturing, product development, administration, and distribution of products are all performed at the PhytoTechnology Laboratories’ 18,000 square foot facility in Lenexa, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro area. This central U.S. location provides direct access to most major markets around the world.

Dr. Kenneth Torres