Tissue Culture Laboratory

Solan has invested in its own Tissue Culture laboratory for the specific purpose of production of potato plantlets to meet its mini tuber order requirements as placed by Australian potato seed producers. The laboratory is able to hold up to 70 000 plantlets at any one time prior to release to the general nursery greenhouse.

The laboratory receives potato tissue either directly from The Department of Agriculture’s Post Entry Quarantine Facility or other approved tissue culture laboratories. Upon receipt, plantlets are assessed and logged into Solan’s system for either storage as backup cultivar stock for PBR Clients and or production of mini tubers.

The process of tissue culture involves cutting plantlets into micro plantlets under sterile conditions to rapidly increase plant numbers. These new plants are then planted into Solan’s general nursery facility where our mini tubers are produced. This process rapidly generates significant volumes of a variety for the marketplace whilst maintaining the genetic integrity of varieties, ensuring producers receive consistent varietal characteristics and quality in their mini tubers. Micro plants develop a root system and top in the laboratory over a period of 3 weeks after which they are sent out for planting. All lighting for plantlet growth is supplied via LED lights. Solan has been utilising LED lights for over 10 years. Plantlet performance is very responsive under LED lighting, energy usage is reduced as are laboratory temperatures. Solan continually investigates lighting technology and its impact on plant growth to fine tune plant growth within the laboratory space.

All germplasm in the Genetic Resource Centre is housed within in a series of refrigerated cabinets to ensure all mother stock maintained on behalf of the industry and its stakeholders is isolated. Conditions within the refrigeration units are fully monitored to ensure health and vigour of mother plants.

The majority of Potato Cultivars within our Genetic Resource Centre are held with agreements covered under Australian Plant Breeders Rights. The remaining cultivars are public varieties which are available for production of potato mini tubers and require no prior authorization for production.

Solan produces its own growth media for storage of all invitro material within its genetic collection, including production tubs for order generation. A major component of the media solution is water. All water used in the preparation of growth media is derived from filtering rainwater via a demineralising system for use. This process results in a very pure quality water, free of salts and minerals that  negatively effect plant growth. Components for growth media are combined and dispensed into appropriate vessels for autoclaving ensuring media is sterile for production use.