Lyon Arboretum Facility – FY 2008 Report


The primary focus of the Lyon Arboretum Micropropagation Laboratory is to prevent further extinction of Hawaii’s native plant species mainly through the use of in vitro propagation (tissue culture). This proposal seeks to utilize the Lyon Micropropagation Laboratory as a propagative and designated living germplasm facility, emphasizing the propagation of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEP) species. The two main activities to be accomplished within the laboratory will be to propagate and multiply all of the submitted plant samples for the purpose of restoration/reintroduction and to maintain a sufficient representation of “living” plant germplasm which will be reside as in vitro cultures. The work will be conducted in accordance and alignment with the State of Hawaii DOFAW-DLNR efforts to pursue genetic coverage for Hawaii’s critically endangered plant taxa which include capture of the maximum genetic diversity remaining in wild populations.


Between the period of July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, the Lyon Arboretum Micropropagation Laboratory received 180 submissions comprised of 79 native Hawaiian species. 46 (58%) of these species are federally listed as Endangered, eight (10%) Species of Concern (SOC), one (1%) Proposed Endangered, and three (4%) Candidate species. Currently, there are 202 native plant taxa in various stages of propagation in inventory, with 98 (49%) federally listed as endangered, 31 (15%) are species of concern, three (1%) proposed endangered, and eight (4%) of these species labeled as candidate species. The Lyon Arboretum Micropropagation Laboratory continues to propagate all incoming federally listed and “critically at risk” species submitted to the lab. The laboratory received seven new native Hawaiian species this fiscal year, of which five are common, one un-described and one newly described.

This fiscal year, the Micropropagation Laboratory has sent out 859 plants consisting of 19 Hawaiian native species for restoration/reintroduction, research, education, botanical and display garden, and forestry. Seven new Hawaiian endemic plant species were submitted to the Micropropagation Laboratory.

Additional Information

The Lyon Arboretum moderated the televised OLEO program panel discussion “Botanical Gardens and Its Role in Plant Conservation” taped on September 14, 2007. On May 16-17, 2008, Lyon offered Endangered Species Day events, which included a public open house of the Hawaiian Rare Plant program micropropagation, seed and greenhouse facilities.

The Lyon Arboretum received 929 volunteer hours this fiscal year from an average 5.5 volunteers/month. The Micropropagation Laboratory and greenhouse received more than 361 visitors this past fiscal year. These visitations consisted of public school groups, University of Hawaii and Community College classes, interns, workshop participants, community groups, researchers, and individuals.

Funds support the endangered species recovery effort, which encompasses the use of tissue culture for propagation and germplasm storage. The Micropropagation Laboratory is staffed by a full-time Junior Researcher, who directs the lab, and one full-time and one half-time Botanical Support Technician.