Certification:The word certification comes from the word to certify the definition of which
includes: A certificate (document) attesting the truth of some statement or event.
To give reliable information or assurances.
the case of horticulture, certification consists of a statement of condition based on the results of specific tests. Most horticulture certification programs consist of two parts;
1) tests to prove the variety is true to name and
2) tests to prove the plants in question are free of specific or known pathogens or diseases.
Horticulture certification is a very expensive process therefore the
initial certified stock (nuclear stock) is generally not used directly
in production but becomes the source for an increase program that
results in production stock. This increase program has a cost dilution effect thus making the
production stock cost competitive. The steps of increase process are
given names to indicate the state of increase and the distance removed
from the certified nuclear stock accordingly:
Nuclear stock = original certified plants
Build Up I = first increase
Build Up II = second increase
Recycle I = third increase
Recycle II = forth increase
Production = production stock
number of stock increase steps any given program follows depends on the
species and variety involved, its increase rate and the significance of
the diseases specific to the species, involved.
This increase program has a cost dilution effect thus making the
production stock cost competitive.
Besides the cost of the initial certified stock the Build Up and Recycle
steps are also costly, however multiplication is maximized at each step
so cost dilution is also maximized.
LLC certification program:
True to name: Genetic Drift/mutation.
Plants can be propagated
sexually or asexually. Over
time asexually/vegetatively propagated crops accumulate age, pathogens
and may genetically drift from the original selection.
Some of the caladium varieties have been vegetatively propagated
for more than 150 years. To
assure our customers of receiving true to name vigorous tubers Classic
Caladiums employs a certification program to make sure our starting
stock, based on the results of specific tests, is of the highest
quality. Classic certifies
its starting stock to be; 1)
true to name 2) free of specific diseases and 3)
rejuvenated. Rejuvenation is a not very well understood but very interesting process.
Tissue culture is used in
Classic’s certification program.
The tissue culture processes involves aseptically removing small
groups of meristematic cells from the growing points of the plant and
growing them in test tubes (in
vitro) on a specific medium.
In order to get small pieces of plant tissue to grow
in vitro, plant growth hormones are used.
This process, including the use of plant growth hormones, has the
effect of rejuvenating the plant thus resetting the plants aging clock.
All plants received from tissue culture process are rejuvenated
as a naturally occurring result of the process.
The entire process from selecting tubers of the
variety to be certified to receiving plants back from the tissue culture
laboratory is 2 years. The
build up or increase process takes another 3 years making the entire
process 5 years. Since the
last 3 years are in the field and the plants are exposed to
recontamination, thus the statement that Classic uses for their salable
tubers is that they are “derived from a certification stock process”.