Plant Cytometry Services

Plant Cytometry Services (PCS) is a small biological research company located in The Netherlands. PCS is specialized in doing ploidy and genome size analysis (based on flow cytometry) for customers from all over the world. In the past 6 years many plant species, and occasionally animal and fungal species, have been studied. Our customers consist of breeding companies from large to small, universities, research institutes, commercial companies from the horticultural industry and amateur breeders. Our customers are mainly from Europe and US but also Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America

In the past 6 years PCS has worked on over a 100 different species. These include well-known species such as, potato, tomato, maize, rice, sunflower, orchids, grasses, ornamentals, and a wide variety of small commercial crops and many “natural” plants. Our three main services are the determination of ploidy level, relative DNA content and the genome size. For more information about these three services, see the  services tab on this website. The services can be used to find an answer to your research question.

Recently 2 new services have been included, The most important one is analysing male and female gametes. In many species the ploidy of male gamete can be measured directly from pollen. Female gamete formation can be measured only indirectly, from seeds.

The other one is determining the %GC of your samples. This is more related to academic questions. But it also can give valuable information for more practical questions.

The most common method used to obtain information about the ploidy level of a plant is microscopy, where the chromosomes are counted. This is a labour-intensive process and difficult to do efficiently. An alternative way of determining the ploidy level is using flow cytometry. A flow cytometer uses a laser to measure physical and chemical characteristics of a population of nuclei. The samples consisting of nuclei are focussed to ideally flow one nuclei at a time through a laser beam, where the profile of the light scattering is characteristic to the nuclei. To be able to do a measurement, the nuclei is labelled using fluorescent markers causing light to be absorbed and then emitted in a band of wavelengths. The amount of light emitted is characteristic for a plant sample. The two main labelling markers that we use are DAPI and PI. The main advantage of a flow cytometer is that tens of thousands of nuclei can quickly be examined, and the data gathered can instantly be processed and analysed by the computer. The flow cytometers that we use are made by Sysmex, which are known for their reliability and efficiency.

About the owner

PCS was founded by Gerard Geenen in 1987. Gerard ran the company for 26 years, in which he worked with many costumers and build up a lot of expertise. Dr. Ir. C.J.M.M (Krit) Raemakers became the owner of PCS in 2014. He obtained his PhD in 1988 at the Wageningen University with a specialisation in Plant breeding. After finishing his PhD, he worked for the Wageningen University (WUR) as an academic researcher, mainly focussing on projects related to GMO production in cassava plant, but also pea, potato and Alstroemeria. Afterwards he worked for a commercial plant breeding company, where he developed GMO protocols for over 10 species amongst which jatropha and many ornamental species. This has resulted in over 40 peer reviewed scientific publications. He also wrote several review articles about somatic embryogenesis.

In 2011 he started his own consultancy company ATCT, which stands for Advanced Tissue Culture Techniques.  In the past he was a consultant for several projects such as: influence led light colours on tissue culture (rooting, shoot development, adventitious shoot formation, somatic embryogenesis, micro-spore culture, sexe determination, flowering in vitro), anther culture, interspecific and intergeneric hybridisation, polyploidisation

What can you expect?

PCS has experience in many different biological fields. Customers can expect a high-quality analysis and the best possible interpretation of the results. Many plants have unique features. These can only be discovered by a highly experienced researcher who has a thorough understanding of plant production, plant breeding and the working principles of flow cytometry.

No matter which plant species you send, in almost all cases the analysis of the delivered plant material results in a meaningful outcome. The results of the analysis are delivered within 4 days after arrival. The prices are very competitive. Also for small deliveries or rare species. If samples give no meaningful result, analysis will be free of charge.