Tallis, Chloe and Jess have been working hard for the past two weeks to prepare for our first trip to Sarawak in July (We fly out on July 14th). We have worked with our partners in Kuching to order everything for the new propagation lab at MRSM School and today we have been sorting out seed and seedlings in vitro to take for laboratory skills training. We want to take a good range of seed from our seed bank so that students get experience in handling seeds that sink, float or do a bit of both.
The samples show just how varied orchid seed is.
We are taking fifteen different orchid species seedlings in-vitro to include a range of South East Asian species and a range of seedling ages.
For transport the seedlings will be moved out of their sterile jars and into sterile bags (without media)
In Kuching the seedlings will be moved back into sterile jars and, of course, everything is done aseptically in a flow cabinet as shown below.
The seed and seedlings will be accompanied by an import certificates from Sarawak (The Wildlife Officer at the Nature Conservation & Constitution Division of the Forest Department Sarawak has been very helpful) along with export and phytosanitary certificates from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Authority UK). I feel that it is always a good learning experience for students to get involved with the certification for the legal export of their orchid seedlings.