This modern computer controlled glasshouse was built through financial aid from the IV Italian financial protocol. It has a total area of 910 m2. Vents are opened and closed according to the required temperature and climatic conditions. The computer also regulates the functioning of the chiller and the boiler to keep the desired temperatures. It has shading facilities both on the inside and on the outside to control the light intensity. The outside shading is always fixed and its use is to protect the glasshouse from hail as well as shading. The inside shading can be opened or closed, depending on the light intensity. Mainly, this glasshouse consists of three compartments:
Complimentary to the work carried out in the Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory,
Complimentary to the work carried out in the Virology Laboratory and for
Compost mixing, filling, transplanting and cleaning of pots.
The Modern Glasshouse
The Modern Glasshouse
This compartment is complementary to the Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory where acclimatisation of plants is carried out. When the plants produce roots in the laboratory, they will be ready for acclimatisation. Acclimatisation is the process by which plants are adapted to the ambient conditions before being transferred into the fields. This is delicate work which requires great care and it is carried out in the acclimatisation part. The acclimatisation process starts by removing the plants from the agar and they are then immersed into a luke warm fungicide solution in a container for a short period. The plants are then transplanted in trays filled with new compost. Then the trays with plants are transferred under a plastic tunnel were they are watered and misted with a fungicide. The tunnel is closed completely to maintain high humidity levels. After around one week, the tunnel is opened for a few minutes each day. The opening time is increased slowly from day to day so that the humidity is reduced slowly and the plants start to be adapted to the glasshouse ambient conditions. To facilitate root formation, some of the benches are equipped with under-bench heating.
Acclimatisation of Myrabolan
Acclimatisation of GF 677 till the year 2006
The second compartment is the diagnostic compartment and is complementary to the Virology and Bacteriology Laboratories and is used for biological tests, that is, mechanical transmission onto herbaceous plants or indexing on woody plants. In this compartment, herbaceous indicator and indexing plants are propagated at regular intervals to keep a stock of these plants all year round. This part is further divided into smaller compartments to facilitate the execution of these biological tests. One of these compartments is used for the production of endemic and ornamental plants.
Citrus plants for Indexing
Herbaceous Indexing Plants
Herbaceous indicator plants
Mechanical transmission carried out in one compartment
The third compartment is used for compost mixing, filling, transplanting and cleaning of pots. Compost is used for plant acclimatisation while a compost mixture is made from compost, sand and soil’ which is sieved and sterilised; for the production of herbaceous indicator plants.
In order to maintain optimum conditions within the glasshouse a boiler is utilised during winter to heat the glasshouse by supplying warm water at around 60oC, while a chiller is utilised to lower the temperature during the summer months by supplying cold water at around 11oC. The warm and cold water are circulated through pipes to fan coils which are evenly distributed within the glasshouse compartments to maintain constant and uniform temperature.
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