The growth room is designed to grow cultures that contain unknown
fungi or other microorganisms. All inocula received from outside the
United States are cultured first in this room for close monitoring. With
few exceptions, such as occasional visitors, only INVAM personnel enter or work in this room.
Select any room to see procedures used in that location.
The room has it’s own temperature control, and all air is exhausted outside the building, with no air return. Supplemental air conditioning maintains the room near 78oF, even with high pressure sodium lights emitting heat for 14 hours each day.
Tabletops consist of a heavy metal mesh and painted with material that contains anti-microbial compounds. The openings in the mesh eliminate any chance of cross-contamination from lateral movement of pot effluent during drainage. All effluent falls into removable aluminum trays of the same size as table surfaces. Autoclavable pails are positioned under a drain at one end of each tray to capture effluent. Table surfaces are surface-sterilized at the beginning of each month and the trays cleaned and surface-sterilized at 3-month intervals.
Any new accession deposited in INVAM is examined for presence of additional microbes before a culture is started. If nematodes or symptoms of pathogenesis are indicated, then only spores are used to set up the culture and the remainder of the material is autoclaved. These cultures then are monitored at monthly intervals for reemergence of a problem organism and pot effluents are autoclaved.
Watering is done manually each morning with care and attention to pot size, so as to minimize the volume of drainage into trays and also to prevent splashing. By doing this, we have a daily view of how well cultures are progressing and can rapidly detect any emergent problem.