Vincentians learn PCR techniques from Taiwan
June 4, 2010
Vincentians learn PCR techniques from Taiwan

Local Agricultural officers have been introduced to the technique of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which is a technique in which DNA is cloned for the purpose of medical and biological research.{{more}}

The introduction took place on May at a workshop held collaboratively by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) at the Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory of the Orange Hill Farm.

About 30 Agricultural officers attended, including Marcus Richards and Vanley Browne from the division of Plant Protection and Quarantine; Leroy Jackson from the Moko unit and many Lab technicians from the Animal Health and Production Division.

The main purpose of the workshop was to introduce PCR technique and its application used for agricultural sector to local agricultural officers. PCR is a technique which is able to clone DNA to make biological research quicker, simpler, and more efficient. At present, PCR has been applied in many areas in the world, such as agriculture, food inspection, medical applications and Infectious disease applications, etc.

The workshop was organized by Rohan McDonald, Agriculture Officer of the Biotechnology unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, and Tony Hou, the TTM Specialist. According to them, PCR will play a vital role for the development of local agriculture. For example, one thing SVG will benefit from PCR is plant disease detection in both imported and exported agriculture products. This is important if the agricultural commodity trade between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other trading partners is to develop. More so, PCR provides farmers an opportunity to have an earlier detection system of pathogen found in soils and crops, thus allowing them to make necessary changes where possible.

Demonstrations were carried out by the TTM assistant specialist, Ryan Wu, at the Laboratory. Furthermore, all participants were given hands-on training in PCR procedures. It was the TTM’s first time holding a workshop on PNR. The Chief of the TTM, Chin-Yu LEE, emphasized that one of the TTM’s goals is to introduce more advanced techniques, besides traditional know-how, to local farmers and agricultural officers in order to improve Vincentian agricultural production.