NEW Article Series

What got you into this business?

We thought we would add something new, personal and interesting to the IVR.  We sent out emails to people asking them:

“I am writing a small quarterly column including a short statement, one or two sentences, describing how “we” all ended up in this business.  What was the one deciding factor that made you turn to “the in vitro side”?

Would you be willing to share something like that?  It can be anonymous or not but would really help make the IVR a lot more interesting.”

Here are some responses:

Ron Rothrock:
To be honest with you I fell into tissue culture by accident.  That is not to say that I don’t enjoy it, because I do. When I started grad school I was studying forestry.  I wanted to be outside in the woods for my future job.  As it turns out, my major professor was working on genetically modifying American chestnut embryos in order to give them blight resistance.  As some people may know, chestnut blight nearly wiped out the America chestnut.  American chestnut was the dominant forest tree throughout much of the country east of the Mississippi.  It was very rewarding to work on such a noble project.  I might not have enjoyed the tedium involved with such a project otherwise.

In the end I spent 1 ½ years working with tissue culture on the chestnut project.  I graduated in 2006 and I enjoyed it so much I have stayed with TC.  It has the elements of science, but it also has an element of “art” to it as well and this is what keeps it from becoming boring.  Those who are doing TC will understand what I mean. Now I’m glad to have chosen to stay with TC for I have gotten lucky enough to get into an even more rewarding project.  I now am working for a company that is working with energy crops.  Not only is it rewarding to be working on a project that is going to change the world, but TC is going to be a part of that change.  To anyone who thinks TC is only a hobby, think again.  TC is going to save the world!

Rifat Tarik Yararbas
When I was preparing my master of science thesis, a friend of mine and I built a  mushroom spawn laboratory (my master of science thesis was on preparing the primer culture of mushroom spawn, especially Agaricus bisporus). Mushroom culture facilities nearly were the same as for the plants, but mushroom mycelia grow much more quickly.  The job at the beginning, was successful, but, later, we failed due to the  harsh competition from other companies. Our company was closed. Then, I became an attendant at the management parks and gardens of local municipality for one year (there was a lot of boring routines).  In 2000, I was started the PhD program.  At the thesis subject selection stage, I had two alternatives:  1. Molecular genetic or 2. Plant tissue culture.  I read a very huge book on electrophoresis  so I was aware of the dangers at the molecular genetic laboratory. That is why, it was eliminated and I chose plant tissue culture.

Aaron Hicks
“Shortly after entering the monastery, I realized that plant tissue culture was- by far and away- the best venue for pursuing the mandated vow of poverty.”