Research visit to the Netherlands to study aspects of Nerine production


Outcomes of this funded trip are listed below.

Specialist contacts within this industry

Name: Kitty de Jong and Kees de Jong
Organisation: Agro Fleur Select

Name: Johan van Scheepen (taxonomist and librarian)
Organisation: KAVB library

Name: Leo van Leeuwen
Organisation: Naktuinbouw

Name: Mirella de Lange
Organisation: IribovSBW

Name: Paul van Leeuwen

Access to scientific data

  • During my visit to the KAVB library, I made copies of information I did not have access to in England, relevant to my research.
  • Leo van Leeuwen has access to a Haakkart archive and can send me published papers that I cannot access in England.
  • Dr. E. Meekes said she could send me published papers that I cannot access in England.
  • Evelien at Iribov discussed meristem tissue culture techniques with me and gave me numerous suggestions that I was not previously aware of that will aid my technique and success.
  • Paul van Leeuwen made copies of relevant papers from his library at the PPO- BBF in Lisse that I did not previously have access to.

Experience and information gathered to improve Nerine micropropagation techniques.

The information gathered during this visit will directly influence the technique used for meristem culture and the subsequent care of plant material. Specific information gathered includes the cutting and sterilsation process, use of specific needles, growth room temperature, light/dark requirements and time frame for growth. This information should improve the process and survival chance of excised meristems. The information gathered regarding the weaning care of these plants will aid in providing the correct environment and procedure once plantlets are ready to leave the growth room.

Specifically the first weaning stage is under plastic in 70% humidity at 20°C, then humidity is gradually reduced over two weeks after which the plastic is removed completely. After four weeks, they are moved to the next stage of the nursery area. The next stage area is kept at 18°C with no humidity control. After four weeks here they are moved to the main nursery where there is only heating to 5°C. Plants stay in the main nursery area for at least four weeks.

Preliminary virus testing using state of the art PCR techniques from Iribov Analytical Laboratory at no charge

Jos Heldens explained I could send him samples of Nerine plant material for initial PCR tests. This will determine what viruses are present in the starting material. I took samples from the parent population of Hera and a sample from a Hera plantlet currently in culture. These were sent to Jos the week after I returned from the Netherlands. He sent me an email on 02.11.15 explaining they have found nerine latent virus (NeLV) and also positives for potex and poty viruses in both samples although there looks to be a difference in virus load for a poty virus. These are initial findings and the final results can be given to you at a later date if required. This information will directly influence my research project as it will give me a nearly 100% confident result on the presence of specific viruses. This means I know what to look for once I have generated plants through meristem culture, saving time if I cannot access PCR tests in the UK. The equipment is not a problem but primers will have to be made, as they are not commercially widely available here. A colleague has agreed to work collaboratively on this project to aid with the PCR tests but making contacts in the Netherlands has saved time and money and offers an elegant backup solution should it be required.

Suggestions for cost effective virus testing once material is generated

Jos Heldens suggested a cost effective way to test for presence of virus following propagation if I do not have access to PCR testing facility. There is a Potyvirus group Immuno Strip group test available from, product number ISK 27200. If we can acquire Immuno Strip tests for potexvirus and carlavirus groups, this will cover the preliminary findings of present viruses within the Hera material, if access to PCR testing is not available at that time.