SLTB Newsletter - PDF by tqr19314


									                                                                                December 2005

                            SLTB Newsletter

                                      **STOP PRESS **

        Please register for news about the preparation of CRYO 2006 under
         More details inside.

The SLTB would welcome applications for Audrey Smith Travel Awards to
attend CRYO 2006 in Hamburg (24-27 July). Each bursary will be for 100GBP.
Two groups of applicants will be preferentially supported, specifically;
researchers new to the field (normally MSc, or PhD students, or researchers in
their first post-doctoral appointment) and technical staff/support scientists for
whom funding for meeting attendance is problematic.

Deadline for applications 1st May 2006.
Please visit the SLTB website for details on how to apply.

 SLTB Scientific meeting and AGM                 This year the Society presented a truly
  University of York, Sept 15-16th               international face with nearly 40% of the
                                                 attendees coming from outside the UK.
Thanks to all those SLTB members who             Small meetings such as ours (38
supported the 2005 AGM. We are                   registrants this year) are very dependent
particularly grateful to Maureen Wood,           on industrial sponsorship for finance. We
Dirk Hincha and Roger Pearce for their           are therefore very grateful to our
invaluable help in organizing the two            exhibitors and sponsors (Asymptote Ltd,
symposia, and to all those who contributed       Planer plc, Thames Cryogenics Ltd,
to the scientific programme in any way.          Linkam Scientific Instruments and
The sessions were highly enjoyable and           Cryosafe Ltd) for their support, and to
informative      and     generated      lively   Planers in particular for their generous
discussion. The student presentations were       sponsorship of the opening reception.
also all of a high standard. This year’s Ken     To conclude, I personally want to thank
Hobbs student prize went to Ashraf               Belinda Wade whose hard work and super
Sandouka from Palestine who is currently         organizational     skills  ensured     that
studying with Colin Green at the                 everything went smoothly and, more or
Northwick Park Institute for Medical             less, according to plan.
Research in Harrow. The title of his talk
was       ‘Carbon-monoxide          releasing    All best wishes for SLTB 2006
molecules: a novel stratagem to improve          Monica Wusteman
cold preservation techniques for kidney          Dept of Biology, University of York
                                             I first became interested in cryobiology in
      New Committee Members                  the late 1980s when working with John
                                             Morris & Brian Grout at Cell Systems Ltd,
Tiantian Zhang                               Cambridge. In December 1990 I took on
(                 the role of Curator of CCAP at
I am a professor in Cryobiology at the       Windermere and became responsible for
Institute of Research in the Applied         cryobanking activities of this collection.
Natural Sciences, University of Luton,       Subsequently, I became actively involved
UK. I obtained both my BSc (China) and       in cryobiological research and this has
MPhil (UK) degrees in Environmental          included close collaborations with Erica
Biology. My PhD study was on                 Benson’s group at Abertay. I continue
‘Investigations into cryopreservation of     these roles since the freshwater section of
fish embryos’ (University of Luton, UK).     CCAP relocated to SAMS in 2004. I have
My research has been in the areas of         wide      ranging    interests    including:
cryopreservation of fish embryos, oocytes    Biological Resource Centres (BRC),
and cells. My current major grants are       cryopreservation, cryoinjury, algal stress
‘Development of technologies for             physiology,       algal      biotechnology,
cryopreservation of fish oocytes’ (funded    application of molecular method in culture
by the EU) and ‘Investigation of new         collections and bioinformatics.
approaches to the cryopreservation of fish
embryos’ (funded by The Wellcome             Ryan Cripps
Trust). I have been a member of Society      ( )
for Cryobiology since 1992 and a member      I first dabbled with low temperature
of Society for Low Temperature Biology       biology as a tool to maintain enzyme,
since 1993. I was the General Secretary      carbohydrate and plant growth regulator
(1997-1999) and the Treasurer (2001-         activity/levels in plant tissue until analysis.
2004) of the Society for Low Temperature     Subsequently my direction has changed a
Biology. I have been a member of the         little ... and now I am using low
editorial boards of Animal Reproduction      temperatures as a method to store
Science (present) and Cryo-Letters (2000-    vegetative tissue for the long-term
2003). I am also a referee of numerous       conservation of rare and endangered
specialist journals including Biology of     plants. This research at the Royal Botanic
Reproduction,                Cryobiology,    Garden,      Kew       (         is
Theriogenology, Journal of Zoology,          complementary to the work done at the
Aquaculture and Aquaculture Research.        Millennium Seed Bank. Thus, my primary
At present I am the Course Director of the   focus is on plants that cannot be stored by
MSc Cryobiology course at University of      conventional seed storage. My initial work
Luton.                                       was on developing a protocol for fern
                                             gametophyte cryopreservation. From there
John Day                                     I have worked on numerous species from
(                             several different plant groups, including
I am Curator of the freshwater algal         woody       plants,    herbaceous       plants,
(including cyanobacteria) and protozoan      carnivorous plants, selaginellas, orchids,
subsections of the Culture Collection of     ferns and mosses. I am currently working
Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) at the             on a number of plants from Great Britain,
Scottish Association for marine Science      Seychelles, Madagascar, St Helena and
(SAMS) near Oban in Scotland. I was the      Australia.
Coordinator and Work Package (WP)
leader of the recently completed COBRA
Project, which focused       Andy Wetten
on cryobiology and cryopreservation of       (
microalgae and cyanobacteria. In addition,   I am interested in cryopreservation as a
I am a reviewing editor for In Vitro         tool for long-term conservation of plant
Cellular Developmental Biology and am        germplasm and the fundamental cellular
on the editorial board of CryoLetters. I     changes that limit the success of such
previously served on the SLTB Committee      procedures. Clonally propagated species
from 1999-2002 and acted as General          and those bearing recalcitrant seeds are
Secretary from 2000-2002.
being investigated, with particular            3. Wilkinson, T., Wetten, A., Prychid, C.
reference to rare and endangered forms         and Fay, M.F. (2003) Suitability of
(1). TEM studies of shoot tips conducted       cryopreservation for the long term storage
with collaborators at RBG Kew have             of rare and endangered plant species – a
revealed the nature of subcellular changes     case history for Cosmos atrosanguineus.
during           encapsulation/dehydration-    Annals of Botany 91: 65-74.
mediated cryopreservation and indicated
that survival of only limited regions of the
meristem are necessary to allow recovery
of these propagules. Through X-ray
diffraction analysis of encapsulated                  The SLTB Questionnaire
somatic embryos, the effect of the                     18 lessons to be learned
dehydration procedure on membrane
phase changes is being assessed while          Purpose: The questionnaire was to find
DSC is being used to determine the             out what our members expect and what
relationship between optimal survival and      they would like to see the SLTB
cytoplasmic vitrification in these tissues.    Committee do and how the Committee can
                                               achieve this.
Now that my group has developed an             Material and methods: The questionnaire
effective cryopreservation system to           was prepared with input from all members
support the University’s cocoa quarantine      of the last Committee (term ended 29th
facility (2) we are concerned with             September 2005) and contained 21
assessing the effectiveness with which         questions. It was sent out in printed form
somaclonal variation (genetic mutations        twice to the entire membership (112)
exhibited as a result of the tissue culture    together with the April and August 2005
process) can be prevented. AFLP-based          newsletters and there were reminders
analysis has revealed that cryopreserved       about it in the 'Stop Press' on the front
apical       meristems     of      Cosmos      page of both these newsletters. It was also
atrosanguineus generally give rise to          placed on the website where it still can be
genetically true-to-type plants (3) while      found:
somatic embryo-derived plants have   
recently been found to be prone to             DF. To keep things simple, the
significant     levels    of      variation.   percentages given below are always
Microsatellite-based      analysis       has   calculated on the basis of the total number
demonstrated significant levels of             of returned questionnaires, NOT on the
chimerism in cocoa somatic embryos and         number of responses to a particular
the technique is now being employed to         question/option.
determine how such mutation frequencies        Results: A total of 23 questionnaires were
are     influenced     by    periods      of   returned to the Secretary, which
cryopreservation. Current projects include     corresponds to 20.5%. It is difficult to call
collaborative work with RHS Wisley on          this a representative sample (irrespective
the preservation of the national               of the kind of statistics applied) because
Chrysanthemum collection and with the          the characteristics of those people
University’s School of Pharmacy on the         returning the questionnaire is unknown.
maintenance of clonal plant lines for use      The majority of those who responded (17
in therapeutic drug development.               out of 23 = 77.3%) have been members of
                                               the Society for more than 10 years. The
1. Wilkinson, T., Wetten, A. and Fay, M.       main reason for becoming an SLTB
(1998) Cryopreservation of Cosmos              member was to develop contacts, followed
atrosanguineus       by    a    modified       by 60.9% for attending SLTB meetings
encapsulation/dehydration method. Cryo         and 39.1% to receive the newsletter. One
Letters 19, 293-302.                           person liked the large plant component
2. Fang, J-Y, Wetten, A. and Hadley, P.        unlike the Society for Cryobiology. The 3
(2004) Cryopreservation of cocoa               leading professional and research interests
(Theobroma cacao L.) somatic embryos           were “cells”, “cell banking” and
for long-term germplasm storage. Plant         “conservation” (all 47.8%), followed by
Science 166: 669-675.                          “tissue banking” and “gene banking” (both
                                               39.1%). On the other hand “organ
banking” and “fungi” (both 21.7%) were          Discussion: From the low return rate
the “leaders” regarding “no interest” in        (20.5%) it is clear that SLTB members do
this category. According to the returned        not like questionnaires or have better
forms the SLTB is “relevant” to the work        things to do than to reply to them (lesson
of 95.6% of our members, for 47.8% it is        1). SLTB members like to make contacts
even “highly relevant”. The organization        (which we would expect so this is not a
of annual meetings is “highly relevant” for     lesson to be learned). Interest in meetings
69.6%, regular newsletters are “highly          exceeds the interest in regular information
relevant” for 56.5% and the website gets        via newsletter (lesson 2), so this tells us
34.8% in this category. One person              something about where to put our efforts
commented that to “share scientific             in the future. Lesson 3 is that the interest
information and to have a few beers” is the     stops at a certain size of the research topic:
main task. All who returned the                 whereas “cell banking” and “tissue
questionnaire have attended at least one        banking” are “in”, “organ banking” is not.
SLTB meeting, and 26% attend them               Although the relevance of the SLTB for
regularly. Nobody gave a reason why             our members’ work (according to the
he/she has not attended a meeting. Seventy      returned questionnaires) is 95.6%, 79.5%
percent think that the number of keynote        do not consider the SLTB relevant enough
lectures at the AGMs is sufficient, 65.2%       to return the forms (lesson 4). The
think this about the free oral presentations,   importance of our main tasks can be
73.9% with regard to presented posters but      ranked as follows: annual meeting >
only 39.1% say this about workshops.            newsletter > website (lesson 5). Those
Two people wish to see sessions on “low         who have returned the questionnaire have
temperature adaptations” at future SLTB         attended at least 1 SLTB meeting, so we
meetings, other topics (total of 12 different   should set up more meetings to get more
topics, e.g. “assisted reproduction”,           questionnaires returned (lesson 6). SLTB
“disease transmission and cryostorage”,         members are able to think logically
“natural cold hardiness) were proposed          (lesson 7): as all of those who have
only once. Nobody felt that industry had        returned their form have attended at least 1
too high an influence on SLTB activities        meeting, nobody gave a reason why he/she
or the program of scientific meetings.          did not. Nobody said that we have too
Some 52.1% considered our website to be         many keynote lectures, free oral
“average” with regard to the quality of         presentations, workshops and posters
information, and 60.9% think this about         during AGMs (lesson 8). As there is no
the form of presentation. This analysis is      outstanding topic of common interest for
based on 2 people who visit it once a           future sessions at AGMs (lesson 9), how
week, 5 who do this once a month and 13         about combining several of them into one
who do this every 3 months. Two people          session (e.g. “Disease transmission by
visit the website once a year. There were 6     assisted reproduction as an alternative to
proposals for additional features to be         low temperature adaptation or cold
shown on the website, one being the             hardiness”)? Nobody thought that the
“publication of the month”.                     influence of industry on SLTB activities,
Sixty five percent knew that the SLTB can       including our meetings, is too high (lesson
claim back taxes from the membership            10); how about changing this to allow for
dues of UK taxpayers. Three people              more free beers during the banquets (and
admitted that they did not know that the        for the Committee, more worldwide
SLTB newsletter can also be found on the        travelling and staying at better hotels)? As
website. One third (7 people) did not know      the form of presentation on the website
that the SLTB constitution and the minutes      (52.1%) is ranked slightly better than the
are posted on the website. A Euro bank          quality of the information provided
account should be opened up to facilitate       (60.9%), we should think about changing
payments for members in the Euro zone           this by making the presentation worse
according to the opinion of 82.6%.              (lesson 11). We should not update our
Nobody judged the availability of the           website too frequently (lesson 12), as
SLTB committee for comments and                 otherwise people would miss something
remarks to be poor, all votes ranged            during 2 successive visits. As one proposal
between average and excellent.                  was to add a “publication of the month” to
                                                the website, we have now identified one
person who will help us (lesson 13). We
only have to find out who this person is
and they can then read all the relevant         Life-down-under: a bunch of wild
literature and make a proposal (additional                  flowers
volunteers welcome). People seem to like
to support the UK tax collection (lesson       The city of Perth in Western Australia has
14), as they know that we can claim back       been a media article for visiting
taxes from member dues of UK taxpayers         personalities, such as, Cherie Blair during
but (almost) nobody sends back the form        ‘charitable engagements’ but it is also a
which can be downloaded from our               beautiful city that played host this
website (,      September (21-24) to the Conference of
click on “Gift Aid Form”). Although            the Australian Branch of the International
everybody said that he/she has already         Association for Plant Tissue Culture and
visited the website, 3 people did not know     Biotechnology. The theme ‘Contributing
that the newsletter could be found there…      to a Sustainable Future’ was explored in
The good news is that if we removed the        the newly built Ecology Centre of the
newsletter from the website only 13%           Botanic Gardens and Parks, in Bold Park,
would not realize that (lesson 15). We         which is a beautiful bush reserve proved to
could inform at least 7 more people about      be an ideal location for 3 days of papers
the fact that the SLTB constitution and the    and posters. The conference was a
minutes of the AGMs are posted on the          showcase for recent developments in plant
website. Lesson 16 is that it is a tough job   tissue    culture    and     biotechnology,
to spread information among SLTB               highlighting contributions to sustainability
members. Although the broad majority           in horticulture, agriculture, forestry, and
(82.6%) welcome the idea to open up a          conservation of the natural environment.
EURO bank account, this will not be done       Plenary lectures to address issues in
because of the cost in relation to the small   germplasm preservation: cryopreservation
number of “continental” European SLTB          were given by Dr Erica Benson,
members who would benefit from this. We        University of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland;
will have to wait until the EURO is            Legume biotechnology by Dr Sergio
introduced in the United Kingdom (lesson       Ochatt, Laboratoire de Physiologie et
17): “Fog over the Channel, the Continent      Culture in Vitro Dijon, France; plant tissue
cut off.” I am very glad to hear that the      culture past, present and future by Prof
availability of the SLTB committee for         Acram Taji, University of New England,
comments was judged from average to            Armidale NSW Australia and aspects of
excellent by 100%.                             sustainable agriculture by Dr Philip
Conclusion: The explanation for the poor       Davies, South Australian R & D Institute,
return rate of the questionnaire (in my        Adelaide SA Australia.
opinion) is that almost nobody needed this     Like the efforts in Australian cricket, the
way of communication (lesson 18, the           social program got off to a flying start
most important one)!                           with the welcome registration function in
Those of you who are interested in the         the palatial Ocean Room of the
complete set of data may wish to contact       Rendezvous Observation City Hotel, in the
me or our past secretary Paul Lynch            beachside suburb of Scarborough - homely
(email: Paul has       reminder to English guest speakers. Perth
compiled the data and also written up all      enjoys a warm to hot, dry summers and
proposals made regarding what would            mild winters but in September,
make SLTB membership more attractive           temperatures range from 10-20° Celsius
for new people (question 19), what would       and those hardy souls did enjoy swimming
help the SLTB to keep existing members         at Scarborough beach. There were some
(question 20), and any other remarks on        60 delegates covering a wide range of oral
the SLTB (question 21). A copy of Paul’s       and      poster     presentations      from
“result summary” has been forwarded to         cryopreservation to ecological ‘hot spots’
the new SLTB chairperson. Good luck            in global biodiversity, where Professor
Tiantian and the new Committee!                Richard     Williams      (University     of
                                               Queensland) delivered the Mike Mullins
Andreas Sputtek                                Memorial Lecture during the conference.
Past Chairman
In 1999 the Australian branch of the           As with other collections of biological
IAPTC&B established the Ron de Fossard         materials, algal culture collections have
award to celebrate excellence in plant         two key functions: they provide
tissue culture and honour the contribution     consistency and quality, traceable source
made to the field by Ron de Fossard, a         material and information. They are, de
Life Member of the Association. Parallel       facto, sources of biological standards and
to the champagne-cork popping activities       without these standards comparative
in Trafalgar Square following the Ashes        taxonomic, physiological, ecotoxicological
victory, the conference dinner was held in     and ex situ ecological studies are
the Boatshed Restaurant, Coode Street          impossible or, at best, problematic. The
Jetty, South Perth a spectacular location      value of collections to the user community
overlooking the evening illuminations of       is widely recognized, not least in that they
the downtown district. During these            provide cultures that are often difficult or
celebrations this inaugural award at the       virtually impossible to re-isolate from
conference in Perth was given to Prof          their natural habitats, even when the
Acram Taji for her outstanding                 original source is known and accessible.
contribution to plant tissue culture. The      They provide a store of characterized
conference concluded with a Spring             diversity for research/ exploitation, or
seasonal upturn in the weather during the      potentially, particularly in the case of
wildflower field trip along the Darling        macroalgae, reintroduction to their
Scarp outside Perth that allowed some rare     original habitats. The holdings of algal
Western Australian blooms to open. All-        collections are extremely diverse and it is
in-all it was a splendid conference            the aim of the service collections to make
organized by the chair Jen McComb and          available and conserve ex situ as much of
her organizing committee, a timely             the great morphological and genetic
meeting in a beautiful location and venue      biodiversity of microalgae as possible.
over-layered with scientific excellence!       For phylogenetic and taxonomic studies
Further details and references can be taken    authentic strains, i.e. cultures derived from
from source ‘Contributing to a Sustainable     the material used for the original
Future’ IJ Bennett, E Bunn, H Clarke, JA       description and naming of the species, are
McComb (Eds.) Proceedings of the               particularly useful - these and the vast
Australian Branch of the IAPTC&B,              literature published on the algal culture
Perth,     Western     Australia,    21-24th   collections’     holdings      make      them
September, 2005. Published by: The             irreplaceable and unique international
Australasian Plant Breeding Association        resources.
Inc. ISBN 0-9581784-1-0                        In Europe today there are debatably more
                                               protistan collections than at any time over
Keith Harding                                  the past century. The first algal culture
                                               collection meeting to be held in Europe
                                               “Culture Collections of Algae: Increasing
                                               Accessibility and Exploring Algal
Algal culture collections in Europe:           Biodiversity”, held at the Sammlung von
 The need to use cryopreservation              Algenkulturen (SAG) at the University of
                                               Göttingen, Germany, September 2-6 2002
European microbial culture collections         highlighted the valuable contributions of
have provided a service to the scientific      culture collections to science (Surek
community for over a century, with the         2002). This meeting was attended by
first “service collection” established by Dr   representatives from 19 European
Franticek Král in Prague towards the end       collections, from 14 European countries as
of the nineteenth century. In the 1920’s       well as representatives from algal
Prof E.G. Pringsheim developed the first       collections in North America and Asia. It
major protistan culture collection in          also highlighted the diversity of European
Prague publishing its first catalogue in       collections and the wide range of skills
1928 (Pringsheim 1928). This collection        associated with these collections. At this
has subsequently become the “parent”, or       meeting there was a clear consensus that
even “grandparent”, of most of the largest     there was a need to improve accessibility
algal culture collections world-wide (Day      to biological resources at a European level
et al. 2004).                                  and      to     increase      cross-collection
collaboration. As a component of the Algi-      has resulted in the largest collection of its
Net           project      type in the world and currently in excess, a survey of collections      of 3000 cultures are held in a
and their holdings is ongoing. To date, this    cryopreserved state (see previous SLTB
has identified the existence of 9 macro-        Newsletters, or for
algal culture collections and 90 micro-         further details).
algal culture collections. These collections    It is hoped that the foundations laid by the
vary in size from small personal academic       Algi-Net and COBRA projects can be
research collections holding a “handful” of     expanded upon and it is clear that
cultures, biotechnological collections to       cryopreservation will remain a cornerstone
well established service collections            of ex situ maintenance of protistan
including: the Pasteur Culture Collection       biodiversity.
of Cyanobacteria in Paris (France), ,
Culture Collection at the Botanical             References
Institute in Trebon (Czech Republic),           DAY, J.G., J. LUKAVSKÝ, T. FRIEDL,
NIVA Collection (Norway), ACOI                  J.J. BRAND, C.N. CAMPBELL, M.
Coimbra Collection of Algae (Portugal),         LORENZ & J. ELSTER (2004)
SAG (Germany) and CCAP (UK). In total           Pringsheim’s living legacy: CCALA,
the holdings of these collections are in        CCAP, SAG and UTEX culture
excess of 16,000 algal strains and              collections of algae Nova Hedwigia 79:
undoubtedly        represent    the     most    27-38.
comprehensive range of algal cultures in        PRINGSHEIM,           E.G.        (1928):
the world. It is planned to improve access      Algenreinkulturen. – Ber. Deutsch. Bot.
to the holdings of these collections via the    Ges. 46: 216-219.
Algi-Net website and in due course the          SUREK, B. (2002) Review of “Culture
findings will be made available on-line at      Collections    of    Algae:    Increasing            One    Accessibility and Exploring Algal
aspect of the project is to highlight how       Biodiversity” meeting. Protist 153: 343–
the roles of these collections, particularly    355.
the larger service collections, has
expanded past the traditional curatorial
role and include services such as patent
deposit facilities and the supply of cultures
for quality control. Indeed, service culture
collections have evolved into Biological
Resource Centres (BRC’s) thereby
responding to revolutionary developments
in areas such as molecular biology and
bioinformatics. The current role of BRC’s
is to provide the scientific world with
access to properly maintained culturable
material, in the case of algal collections
with cyanobacterial and protistan cultures
and their associated data. Because of
concerns over strain stability and the
logistical/ cost implications of maintaining
large numbers of cultures using serial
                                                JG Day & R Saxon
transfer, in recent years, there has been
                                                CCAP, Scottish Assoc for Marine Science
increased interest in the application of
long-term preservation methods to algae.
This was one of the drivers of the COBRA
project (The COnservation of a vital
european scientific and Biotechnological            Alas farewell to CRYMCEPT
Resource: microAlgae and cyanobacteria),
where      a    pan-European      Biological    Society members will recall a feature in
Resource Centre containing cryopreserved        the April 2004 newsletter regarding
algae was developed based on existing           CRYMCEPT
algal culture collections (Table 1). This       (
mcept/) – an acronym for a European              techniques       to    existing     European
Commission Research Project (QLK5-CT-            germplasm collections and research
2002-01279)            to            Establish   institutes via the workshops.
CRYopreservation           Methods         for   Integral to this projects’ evaluation - is the
Conserving European PlantT Germplasm             exercise in the preparation of reports. The
Collections. This project was funded by          partners within the steering group received
the EU’s Fifth Framework Programme for           a briefing session on the reporting
Quality of Life and Management of Living         requirements for the CRYMCEPT project
Resources: Key action 5 ‘Sustainable             to the European Union, as specified in the
agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and         EU document on guidelines for the
started in November 2002 for three years.        preparation of periodic and final reports.
Although, it seems like yesterday, the 3         The reports to be prepared include: (1) a
years are now up and the project has             report for the 4th Steering Committee
reached its conclusion, this culminated in       meeting; (2) a periodic report; (3) a final
the final steering committee meeting in          report;       (4)      a       Technological
Montpellier, France and two jointly              Implementation Plan (eTIP) and (5) cost
organised CRYMCEPT and IPGRI                     statements for the project. Highlighting the
cryopreservation training workshops for          most important report to prepare was the
plant germplasm. One was held in Leuven,         final report, which will provide the
Belgium (12-22 Sept and the other in             detailed scientific results presenting the
Montpellier, France 10-21 Oct).                  objectives, work and results achieved
The 4th Steering Committee of the                during the lifetime of the project. Once
CRYMCEPT project took place at the               these reports are complete and following
International Plant Genetic Resources            approval, like the COBRAL issue (Aug05
Institute, INIBAP office in Montpellier,         newsletter) a summary reporting the
France (7-8th October). It brought together      outstanding scientific achievements will
the project partners for the last time before    be a feature for the next newsletters.
the end of the project. Richard Markham,         The two workshops targeted germplasm
Director of the IPGRI/INIBAP Office              collection holders in Europe, as well as
welcomed participants and gave an                countries from the EU international co-
overview of the IPGRI’s programme on             operation programme; each was attended
commodities crops, (particularly banana,         by some 15 representatives of member
cocoa, and coconut) for livelihood and           states mainly from across Europe, but also
sustainable activity. Each CRYMCEPT              had representatives from Africa, Asia and
partner gave a presentation of their work        Latin America. The theme was to address
performed in the different work packages         the      urgent      need     to     develop
in which they were involved during the           cryopreservation techniques for important
final year of the project. These were            plant genetic resources, which otherwise
followed by a discussion of each work            could not be adequately conserved using
package and a general discussion of the          conventional methods. The workshop(s)
main results achieved and the lessons            task was to disseminate the results of the
learnt in the overall project. Overall the       CRYMCEPT research to develop optimal
project has been a huge success with many        cryopreservation protocols for a number of
scientific achievements both published and       plants such as garlic, olive, Ribes, apple,
those to come. As with most projects, the        almond, potato, banana and coffee. After
realisation of the true magnitude of the         an almost 2 week exhausting exercise, the
efforts during the 3 years is often seen         remaining participants received their
after its completion in the total volume of      certificate for training in cryopreservation
outputs. These productions cover a range         and departed home delighted with the
of subjects: from the thermal behaviour of       cooperation, scientific information and
water; protein function; understanding           outcome of the Workshop. An apt
sugars; membrane components; the                 conclusion to end what was a very
significance of polyamines; cytoskeletal         enjoyable EU-project, in sowing the seeds
proteins; the induction of oxidative stress;     for the next generation in plant
all leading to the development of new            cryopreservation.
cryopreservation protocols, and finally the
dissemination           of          improved
cryopreservation protocols and analytical
                                               Management         Committee        Members
 COST CRYO-Action Programme                    (MCM) in Brussels on January 2004, to
          2005…                                organize joint final meeting with
                                               participation of all working group (WG1,
There are many words said within a             WG2, WG3) and MC members in Stara
working day, and the word ‘cost’ can stir a    Lesna, Slovakia for the final COST 843
variety of images, as it flickers across the   conference, as the COST Action was due
memory ingrams but in 1970s it was the         to end in 2005.
beginning of a bold scheme to establish        As we have seen, all EU research
scientific links throughout Europe.            programmes come to an end, however
Founded in 1971, COST is an                    inspired members of the complete
intergovernmental        framework       for   CRYMCEPT and COBRA projects and
European Co-operation in the field of          the previous COST programme have
Scientific and Technical Research,             agreed to conspire against the ‘lack of
allowing the co-ordination of nationally       funding’ for cryoconservation and have
funded research on a European level            prepared a preliminary proposal for a new
(           cost action on plant cryopreservation
Highly relevant to SLTB and members            mainly       dealing     with     networking,
involved in the cryopreservation of plant      organization of yearly meetings, short
germplasm, a more recent COST action           term lab-training sessions. Surprisingly,
843 deals with various aspects of plant        the initial EU response to this initiative
production through tissue culture, and has     has been very positive for the submission
two main objectives: innovation of plant       of more complete proposal in the subject
propagation methods, and plant quality         of plant cryopreservation. Although, there
enhancement – key issues in the success of     are still many hurdles to jump before the
plant cryopreservation. COST 843 is            final outcome, this is truly encouraging
organised in three Working Groups              news, as this funding and subsequent
dealing with the following topics: WG 1,       networking will be a major factor in the
Developmental biology of regeneration;         development of scientific advances for
WG 2, Advanced propagation techniques;         cryopreservation.
WG 3, Assessment of performance:               It is fair to surmise, that the proposal is in
physiological health and (epi- )genetic        the ‘draft stage’ and this allows the
stability (            opportunity to invite members of the
Although,         cryopreservation      was    SLTB (and other plant related colleagues)
considered a minor activity in this COST       that if you are interested to join this
action, it was generally recognized that a     proposed COST ACTION, and would like
prerequisite for the development of new        to play an active role or would like more
propagation-cryopreservation techniques        information to contact the ACTION
is the fundamental knowledge about the         coordinator              Bart           Panis
regeneration process. In all Working           ( or Keith
Groups, there were components with             Harding (
molecular, biochemical, physiological and
histological studies on adventitious
regeneration of shoots and embryos
regarding aspects of manipulation of                Cryopreserving Chrysanth’s
competence to regenerate, induction and
maintaining of embryogenic callus, study       Chrysanthemum cultivation began in
of genes involved in regeneration              China and is described in writings as early
(transformation or differential expression),   as the 15th Century B.C. As well as their
(cryo-) recalcitrance and rejuvenation. The    use as the source of one of the most
papers in the issue (Plant Cell, Tissue and    important naturally occurring insecticides,
Organ Culture 70: 123, 2002) are based on      chrysanthemums also constitute a major
selected presentations given during the        part of global cut flower sales. The
first meeting of Working Group I of            National Chrysanthemum Society (NCS)
COST action 843, held from 12 to 15            is looking to arrest the gradual
October 2000 at Geisenheim, Germany.           disappearance of old varieties of the plant
As the COST action proceeded, on one           through a new collaboration with the
occasion, it was decided during                University of Reading’s School of
Biological Sciences. Meristems are being      transplantation will also be covered. The
targeted for propagule storage through        format will be the “classic” one, i.e. a
encapsulation/dehydration with the first      reception on the evening of the day
regenerants exhibiting the additional         preceding the meeting, followed by a four
benefit of virus elimination.                 day scientific meeting. On the first day
                                              David Pegg will organize a symposium
Andy Wetten                                   (working title: “Clinical Applications of
                                              Low Temperatures”). On the morning of
                                              the second day we will have lectures on
                                              plant low temperature biology organized
       Interesting research tool              by Dirk Hincha. In the afternoon there will
                                              be a guided bus tour of Hamburg, and a
The Postgraduate School at Writtle            combined barbecue/canoe event. On the
College will take delivery of the first UK-   third day Ursula Rauen has agreed to
installed Sperm Vision™ system just           organize lectures on the topic of
before Christmas. Delivered by MTG –          “hypothermia”. The traditional banquet
Medical Technology Vertriebs-GmbH, the        will take place during the evening of the
system provides digital-image technology      last day.
to track, record and analyse a wide range
of     sperm     motility   and      motion   Deadlines
characteristics, monitoring up to 95
spermatozoa in a single field. The            Early registration: Before 1st June 2006.
integrated database allows motility           A “Call for Abstracts” will go out in
information to be compared, immediately,      January 2006.
against previously recorded information.
                                              Abstract submission: Until 1st May 2006.
Our immediate use for this system is in       The registration form and the form for
studies of cryopreservation of horse and      abstract submission will be available on
ram sperm, but we are keen to collaborate     the web by the end of January 2006.
on other projects involving frozen semen.     Please watch the meetings website at
We are also interested in using the  for further
potential of the system for monitoring the    details.
post-cryo performance of other, motile
cells such as unicellular algae and           Notification of abstract acceptance: 31st
protozoa and would be pleased to discuss      May 2006
possible collaborations with any of you
that are interested.                          Accommodation: To be announced, see
Brian Grout
                                              Andreas Sputtek, Chairman
                                              CRYO 2006 Organizer

            CRYO 2006
        Hamburg 24th–27th July
                                                       From the Treasurer
The meeting will be held as the 43rd
Annual Meeting of the Society for             As the current year draws to a close it is
Cryobiology in association with the SLTB      my job as Treasurer to prompt you to think
and will cover a wide range of subjects       about a New Year resolution to pay your
including hypothermia, physiology of          2006 subscription as soon as possible
resistance to cold in plants, and             [indeed, there are a notable few of you
applications    of     cryobiology     in     who have already done so!]. This might
conservation, surgery, cell, tissue and       also be the time to ask the flagging few
organ preservation. Relevant aspects of       who have yet to pay for 2005 to clear their
biology, molecular biology, physics,          conscience by wrapping this payment up
chemistry,      physical       chemistry,     with 2006.
biochemistry,   physiology,     medicine,
transfusion    medicine,      mechanical      Our current charges are £20 for standard
engineering, tissue engineering and           membership and £15 for students.
For UK members a Standing Order                        Gift Aid Declaration
through a current bank account is the most
efficient and convenient way to make your     As the Society is now a registered UK
payment. The necessary form is available      charity, we can reclaim the income tax on
at, or I will mail   UK members’ subscription payments from
one to you if that is easier. If you are an   the Inland Revenue. To do this, we need
established Standing Order user then,         members to declare, formally, that they
please would you ensure that this has been    agree to the Society treating their
adjusted to the current rate.                 subscriptions as Gift Aid donations. This
Alternatively, payment can be made by         is done by completing a Gift Aid
cheque [increased to cover any service        Declaration form (on the website at
charges], made payable to the Society, and       and     will
sent directly to me, Brian Grout-SLTB         greatly help the Society’s balance sheet!
Treasurer, Postgraduate School, Writtle
College, Chelmsford CM1 3RR, UK.              Brian Grout, Treasurer

At present the Society is unable to accept
payment by credit or debit card and so
international members will have to use an     Note: The material for this edition was
electronic money transfer.                    prepared      by          John        Day.
   SLTB Officers and Committee 2005-2006
                                   Tiantian Zhang
                             Institute of Research in the
                              Applied Natural Sciences
                    University of Luton, The Spires, 2 Adelaide St
                                Luton LU1 5DU, UK
                              Tel: +44 (0)1582 743729
                              Fax: +44 (0)1582 743700

General Secretary                                   Meetings Secretary
John Day                                            Keith Harding
Culture Collection of Algae & Protozoa              Plant Conservation Group
Scottish Assoc for Marine Science                   School of Contemporary Sciences
Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory                      University of Abertay Dundee
Dunbeg, Argyll                                      Kydd Building, Bell Street
PA37 1QA, UK                                        Dundee DD1 1HG, UK
Tel. +44 (0)1631 559000                             Tel. +44 (0)1382 308535
Fax: +44 (0)1631 559001                             Fax: +44 (0)1382 308261
Email:                               Email:

Brian Grout                                         M. Elena González Benito
Director of Postgraduate Studies                    Dpto de Biología Vegetal
Postgraduate School                                 Escuela Univ de Ingen Técnica Agrícola
Writtle College                                     Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Chelmsford CM1 3RR                                  Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid
UK                                                  SPAIN
Tel: +44 (0)1245 424200                             Tel: +34 91 336 54 35
Fax: +44 (0)1245 420456                             Fax: +34 91 336 54 06
Email:                    Email:

Ryan Cripps                                         Andrew Wetten
Micropropagation Unit                               School of Biological Sciences
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew                          Plant Science Labs, Univ of Reading
Richmond TW9 3AB                                    Whiteknights
UK                                                  Reading RG6 6AS, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5559                            Tel: +44 (0)118 931 6380
Fax: +44 (0)20 8332 5524                            Fax: +44 (0)118 378 8160
Email:                       Email:

 Compiled by Belinda Wade, Medical Cryobiology Unit, Department of Biology, University of York, UK.

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