The Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation plans to freeze and bank all Canadian plant species
Click above to see CTV feature on the GRIPP Grand Opening
The Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation (GRIPP) officially opened its doors yesterday afternoon. The GRIPP research centre at the University of Guelph hopes to become Canada’s leading facility in plant preservation. It will serve to store an inventory of cryogenically frozen endangered plant species in a "Cryo-Bank".
Plant Agriculture Prof. Praveen Saxena is leading the initiative, with the support of Phillip and Susan Gosling, who provided the funding to make GRIPP possible.
The Goslings announced they would be giving another $2 million dollars to the GRIPP facility to create a professorship in integrated plant production systems, and the Gosling Chair in Plant Conservation. The donation will also establish the Gosling Foundation Plant Conservation Endowment to fund research, education and training.
The Goslings donated $1.5 million in 2012, founding the GRIPP centre for long-term plant preservation research, education and service. The couple donated an additional $2 million in 2013 to create the cryopreservation facility for cloning, cryopreservation and other technologies. In total, the Goslings have given $5.5 million to the university’s BetterPlanet Project.
Saxena began the opening ceremony with a presentation explaining the importance of protecting endangered plants. He noted that we are losing plant species at a rate 1,000-10,000 times faster than normal.
He also commended the Goslings for their passion, dedication and determination to save plant species.
The Goslings then donned white lab coats and elbow-length protective rubber gloves to lower a plant sample into a vat of liquid nitrogen, flash freezing and instantly preserving the tissue. This sample was the first plant in GRIPP’s Cryo-Bank.
In his speech, Phillip Gosling thanked Prof. Saxena and his team for their leadership and initiative in establishing GRIPP. “These are world-leading researchers in plant preservation,” said Mr. Gosling.
He also emphasized the importance plant research and preservation.
“Without plants, there would be no birds, no animals, no food and no humans.”