Cultivating a successful future with VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes

· Customer Testimonial

Cultivating a successful future with VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes

Accelerating progress in the agricultural sector 

NARDI Fundulea is recognized as the main agricultural research center in Romania, and boasts an extensive breeding program that has developed over 400 cultivars of field crops, including sunflower, maize, wheat, durum wheat, barley and soybeans. In addition, scientists in the phenotyping and genotyping laboratory conduct a variety of genetic diversity and association studies for important agronomic traits. Sought-after features of modern cultivars include disease resistance, heat and stress tolerance, drought yield and quality – traits that are essential to generate greater yields of crops that are more resilient to climate change. Investigating these properties requires the laboratory to extract and analyze DNA from hundreds of samples each day.

Daniel Cristina, a researcher in the genotyping and phenotyping laboratory, described the range of protocols performed in the laboratory: “We investigate many different genomic and phenotypic markers in crops that we harvest from local fields, and our results help our in-house breeders to create new plant varieties with desirable traits. This requires us to perform experiments such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and more specific types of genotyping assays like competitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) assays. There are many liquid handling steps involved in these protocols, so we rely on VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes to quickly and easily transfer multiple DNA samples simultaneously between tubes and plates in the lab.”

Productivity is key

Daniel and his team handle between 100 and 200 samples each day, so they need to work quickly and effectively. Fortunately, VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes are designed with precise and productive pipetting in mind. The laboratory invested in its first 8 channel VOYAGER pipette in 2015, and now owns a 0.5 to 12.5 microliter pipette and a 5 to 125 microliter pipette from INTEGRA. Daniel commented: “We immediately noticed a difference in our throughput when we implemented the first VOYAGER pipette. Rather than pipetting samples one by one, we could transfer multiple samples at once – even between different labware formats – which helped us to work much faster. Today, the pipettes form an integral part of our workflows due to their versatility; we use them to perform both simple liquid handling steps and for dispensing and mixing nucleic acid samples during PCR and KASP assays.”

Photo courtesy of NARDI Fundulea

A complete pipetting solution

Although the scientists value the efficiency of their workflows, accuracy and precision are also paramount to generating high quality results. Daniel explained how INTEGRA pipettes help the laboratory to maintain optimal accuracy: “The VOYAGER pipettes allow us to decrease the number of repetitive steps that we must perform when pipetting, which reduces the likelihood of human error. At the same time, pipetting multiple samples at once allows us to keep track of our samples more easily. Finally, the GRIPTIPS® pipette tips fit perfectly without any issues, such as leaking or loosening during the pipetting process.”

Overcoming challenges to transform agriculture

“The agricultural sector is evolving very quickly, and INTEGRA’s pipettes will continue to provide multiple benefits to our laboratory as our research progresses. Unfortunately, agricultural research tends to be undervalued and underfunded in Romania, but hopefully this will change as society realizes how important farming is for sustaining our growing population. Issues such as climate change aren’t going away, and we plan to expand our range of VOYAGER pipettes as we look to help the agriculture industry overcome these challenges in the future,” Daniel concluded.