Sterile germplasm lab
Through those germplasm transfers about 90% all the potatoes grown in Idaho can actually be traced back to this lab, and about 60% across the United States can also be traced back to this lab.
The germplasm program started nearly 40 years ago back in 1983 under Lorie Ewing, the founding director of the program. But the previous location on campus was too small and out of date. They never had any issues with contamination at the old facility, but the potential was there because of the tight quarters and common use spaces.
“I mean our space was very tiny, only this one part of our lab was our entire facility at the previous location,” said Durrin.
Durrin says they can produce three times as many plantlets as before, and there are new features like being able to change the color wavelengths of the light in the grow rooms to see what growing conditions are best.
The new facility is also designed to make the possibility of contamination basically a non-issue.
“I don’t have as much foot traffic, I don’t have people walking through the hallways in between our growth room and our tissue culture lab. And then bring plantlets through with students all around where I don’t know where they’ve been