Sunday, April 13, 2014

Journal April 13, 2014 - Getting ready for the season

The greenhouse has been cleaned both inside and out, so it is ready for the 2014 growing season.  

With the upcoming weather forecast calling for nightly lows within acceptable ranges, I decided to move the olive trees from the basement back into the greenhouse.  To my relief, the trees came through the winter remarkably well, with only two trees showing signs of stress.  And, they are two trees that have given me grief since day one.  The question is becoming whether I want to bother with them any longer, or just ditch them.

There is a flat of Tropic tomatoes shown in the photo also, and they are growing so quickly that I may have to place them into the autopots later this week.

Dabbling in plant tissue culture still continues, with moderate success.   Olives, as usual, are a real challenge. 

Plants have a property called totipotency,  explained by Plants in Nature as follows: 

"Many somatic plant cells, including some fully differentiated types (e.g. leaf mesophyll), provided they contain intact nuclear, plastid and mitochondrial genomes, have the capacity to regenerate into whole plants. This phenomenon is totipotency, an amazing developmental plasticity that sets plant cells apart from most of their animal counterparts, and was first demonstrated by Steward and Reinert in the 1950s. Often totipotency is revealed when cells or tissues are disturbed or removed from their normal environment and, for example, placed onto artificial media in tissue culture. A differentiated plant cell that is selectively expressing its genetic information can instead initiate expression of the program required for generation of an entire new plant. Many plants have been regenerated from single cells, but not all plant cells are totipotent; some are terminally differentiated, often because of partial or complete genome loss. We can generalise by saying that most plants at most stages of the life cycle have some populations of cells that are totipotent. Totipotency is of course also a property of normal undifferentiated cells, for example in meristems."

While moving a Kalamata seed to new media, the seed came apart and I was left with just the tip of the radicle.  As the tip of the radicle contains meristem cells, I decided to test the theory of totipotency.  

If you look really hard, you can see the tiny green tip in the center of the jar.  When I placed the tip in the jar on March 20, 2014, it was about 1/8" inch in length and pure white, presently, it is about 1/4" in length and a healthy green.  

Imagine the possibilities if humans had the same property.  

1 comment:

Jimmy H. said...

It is amazing how clean your greenhouse is!

So, are you trying to grow an olive tree hydroponically? I wasn't aware that you could grow something like a tree with hydroponics.