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Russian potato specialists in Oulu in March 2009

Researchers Evgeny Tihonov, Larisa Kuznetsova, Alexander Konovalov and Ljubov Moskulenko from PetrSU together with farmer Andrey Sosunkevits visited Oulu in March. Four days, which they spent in Oulu, were filled with visits to various organisations, lectures, conversations, but also with practical excercises. On Wednesday on the agenda were the results from the last year's field experiment, especially the plant diseases and fertilisation issues. On Thursday morning the the visitors acquinted themselves to computer based cultivation planning - the Visu Programme.  After this it was time to move from words to action, from meeting rooms to laboratories.   
     The guests and the hosts at the
     Uiversity of Oulu
The guest were divided into two, some of them continuing their day at the Ruukki Research Station of MTT. Here they could learn in detail, how the potato samples, which had been taken at the test field and brought to Finland, had been examined.  Plants had been grown from last year's crop potatoes in the green houses of the research station. Numerous virus analyses had been doen using these plants, and also the guest were given the chance to get to know to Elisa-method and to carry out all the phases of the virus testing. The researchers and the farmer could find out by themselves, were potatoes infected with viruses or not.
Andrey Sosunkevits and Evgeny Tihonov take
leaf samples for analyses. Tiina Väyrynen super-
vises the procedure and Lilja Bujalo translates.
Evgeny Tihonov pipettes liquid from the squeezed leafs into moulds prior mechanical shaking. Ljubov Moskulenko and Andrey Sosunkevits observe closely. In the picture above is some test tube plants, which the Finnish Seed Potato Centre had purified from the Russian cultivas.

The reseachers got more information about modern virus defination methods at the research starion of MTT - and more importatntly - they were able to try the methods out by themselves. The same goal was set for the other group, to do something by yourself. Finnish Seed Potato Centre had produced disease free test tube plants from the Russian cultivas, which were to be taken to Petrozavodsk in May, where they would form a seed bank at the PetrSU. Before the plants were to be handed over to Petrozavodsk, it was decided that the researchers would need some information about the practices and methods of seed bank. This is the reason why the second group stayed in Tyrnävä at the Seed Potato Centre. The researchers had an opportunity to carry out different methods and practices related to maintaining of a seed bank with the assistance of Finnish specialists.  The purpose of the training was to ensure that the researcers would be able to implement the seed bank in their home university after the project has ended.



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