Molecular Biology and Micropropagation
Welcome to the Molecular Biology and Micropropagation Section. This Section comprises two labs: (i) The Molecular Biology Laboratory; (ii) The Micropropagation Laboratory. Their individual functions are described below.
Molecular Biology Laboratory
Following renovation in late 2015 the facilities of the Molecular Biology Laboratory have been expanded and improved to keep pace with the increasing importance of molecular data in botany, conservation and horticulture. Our research interests include DNA barcoding the native plants of Singapore, and the use of molecular information for phylogenetic reconstruction, classification, identification, conservation and population genetics across a diverse range of plants groups spanning the bryophytes, lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. We also conduct research on fungi such as mycorrhizae and other plant symbionts. Our Molecular Biology Laboratory, located in the Botany Centre, is divided into three main work areas: (i) DNA Extraction Room for DNA extraction and preparation of DNA libraries for high throughput sequencing; (ii) Biohazard Room for gene cloning using bacteria and other work involving fungi; (ii) PCR Room for amplification of genes of interest using the Polymerase Chain Reaction technique.
The Micropropagation Laboratory traces its history back to the late 1920s, when Professor Eric Holttum (Director from 1926 - 1949) initiated the orchid hybridisation and seed germination programme in the Gardens. The laboratory moved to its present location in the Botany Centre in 2006 and underwent a renovation to upgrade its facilities in late 2015. The laboratory is central to the Singapore Botanic Gardens' VIP Orchid Naming Programme. It is responsible for seed germination and cloning of novel orchid hybrids and other ornamental and horticulturally important plants. We also conduct research on the conservation of native plants, including micropropagation of endangered Singaporean species.
Our Micropropagation Laboratory has glass windows to provide visitors with a clear view of all four areas of the laboratory: (i) Media Preparation Room for preparation of plant culture media; (ii) Transfer Room for transferring plants between culture vessels within laminar flowhoods which provide a sterile environment; (iii) Shaker Room with shakers for plant cultures in liquid media; (iv) Culture Room with illuminated racks for plants growing on solid media. Interpretive panels are available on all windows to help visitors understand the work that happens within the Laboratory.