Government of New Brunswick

The Plant Propagation Centre initiates and multiplies disease-tested tissue cultured potato material. Nuclear Stock plantlets and microtubers are produced, and become the basis for New Brunswick's seed potato industry. The Centre supplies a full range of varieties to customers across North America.

A disease-free environment...

The Plant Propagation Centre produces potato plantlets and microtubers under stringent sanitary conditions. The Centre's tissue culture laboratory is an aseptic environment, specially designed to prevent the entry of potato pathogens and other pests. All material entering the facility is held in quarantine until testing has verified freedom from potato pathogens. Comprehensive disease prevention practices ensure that the Centre's sanitary environment is carefully preserved.

The Plant Propagation Centre meets or exceeds all standards imposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the production of Nuclear Stock class seed potatoes.

Our propagation and testing protocol...

The Plant Propagation Centre initiates, banks and multiplies basic potato material. Both tubers and plantlets are accepted by the Centre.

Initiation, the establishment of new plantlets directly from potatoes, takes place when tubers are accepted for propagation. These are sprouted, and sprouts are surface sterilized. Tiny meristems (growing points) are carefully removed from the sprouts and cultured on nutrient media to produce plantlets. These plantlets are subdivided into daughter plantlets which are tested thoroughly for viral, viroid and bacterial pathogens. The original tuber is then grown out in a greenhouse and tested to confirm freedom from potato diseases.

Plantlets accepted for propagation at the Centre are subdivided, and daughter plantlets are tested thoroughly for viral, viroid and bacterial pathogens.

Material from each introduced tuber and plantlet is used to inoculate a series of indicator plants. This procedure screens for viruses and pathogens not specifically tested for in the initial procedures. As well, material derived from each introduced tuber and plantlet is tested for the presence of bacterial and fungal contaminants. If any pathogen is found at any stage of testing, all related material is discarded.

New material is admitted into the propagation program only after all disease testing has been completed. Plantlets of all varieties and seedlings are maintained in a bank under controlled conditions until needed for production. For plantlet multiplication, nodal cutting is undertaken every 4 weeks, yielding approximately a five-fold increase in material each time. The resulting plantlets can be used for greenhouse or field production. Microtubers, tiny tubers produced on plantlets, are propagated in vitro using a special growth medium. Microtubers offer storage and transportation advantages over plantlets.

In accordance with Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations, all material shipped from the Plant Propagation Centre is subjected to regular audit testing for potato pathogens.

A leading role in research and training...

The Plant Propagation Centre fulfills important research and technical training functions. The Centre is continuously modifying and improving protocols and techniques for tissue culture of agricultural crops. On-site training in propagation and aseptic practices is offered to local and foreign students. Visiting delegations are welcomed regularly, and receive detailed presentations on Nuclear Stock production in New Brunswick.

Our other activities...

The Plant Propagation Centre houses the Canadian Potato Variety Repository, an extensive bank of varieties and seedlings currently available in Canada. The collection includes genetically modified material and varieties protected by Plant Breeders'Rights. All material is maintained as disease tested tissue cultured stock, and is offered to industry as certified Nuclear Stock.

The Centre has experience in producing a wide range of horticultural crops.  Crops of particular interest include blueberries, strawberries, lingonberries, rhubarb and apple rootstocks.

Our products and facilities...

The Plant Propagation Centre supplies disease-tested tissue cultured Nuclear Stock material to New Brunswick's seed potato industry. Commercial quantities of both plantlets and microtubers are produced for distribution within New Brunswick. As well, the Centre offers Nuclear Stock plantlets of a full range of varieties to customers worldwide.

The Plant Propagation Centre was established in 1983 and expanded in 1990. Its facilities include a modern tissue culture laboratory and 4 separate growth rooms. Over 300,000 potato propagules are produced annually.