|While seed is the easiest and most efficient form of germplasm to store, species such as Native Guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides) are undergoing such significant decline due to Myrtle Rust that they no longer produce viable seeds for collection. Other species have seeds that are not suited to storage under conventional seedbanking conditions. For these species, cutting propagation is a way of capturing genetic diversity and establishing ex situ collections that provide a measure of insurance against extinction.|
Our partners at the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (QLD) and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan (NSW) are establishing new ex situ collections from wild-collected germplasm. These collections provide a source of future propagation material, an accessible collection for research and a way of distributing germplasm across partner organisations as a further measure to establish the species in safe custody.
This project received grant funding from the Australian Government.
Images below:(top) Cutting propagation of Native Guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides) at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Credit: Amelia Martyn Yenson.
|The Commonwealth has released for public comment a Draft Import Risk Analysis for the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa. This bacterial pathogen has a very broad host-range of plant species, and is known to pose a major potential environmental threat. The Risk Analysis explicitly limits itself to the potential arrival pathways of imported nursery stock and seed for sowing, and the possible impacts on the horticultural and agricultural industries. Environmental impact and response scoping is not covered, although the Draft IRA does contain a list of Australian native host species known from overseas infections. However, Xylella is on the EEPL Priority List of environmental pests and diseases yet to arrive in Australia, there is a short profile of it in this Information Paper. Comments on the Draft IRA are due by 1st March 2023.|
Do you have a story to share on plant conservation? The editor of Australasian Plant Conservation is seeking article submissions for the Autumn issue of APC. There is no theme for the next issue but there is a general call for fire related articles for all 2023 issues. Send your 1200 word article and images to email@example.com before 1 February 2023 for inclusion in the Autumn issue or by 1 May 2023 for the Winter issue. For more information see our webpage or contact the editor Nathan Emery.
The deadline for article submission has been extended to Friday 17 February 2023.
|Conservation of plant species in their existing habitat is critical, but for species in rapid decline such as Native Guava, ex situ conservation (away from the natural habitat) may be the only way to safely preserve genetic variation. Our current collaborative project on Native Guava helps meet the objective of Germplasm Capture, which is a very high priority in the Myrtle Rust in Australia National Action Plan. Without germplasm capture, there are no future options for species preservation or recovery. For species undergoing significant decline, germplasm capture is urgently required to secure insurance collections of these species before genetic diversity is lost.|
Monitoring and sampling are ongoing over the range of Native Guava, and this project funded by the Australian Government has supported sampling and genetic analysis in both Queensland and NSW. Where possible, cuttings are also taken to establish ex situ populations at the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (QLD) nursery in Gympie and add to the ex situ collection at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan (NSW).
Image: Germplasm sampling of Native Guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides). Credit Craig Stehn.
|ANPC Committee Members and Project Managers attended the conference of the Ecological Society of Australia and the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania. This event was held in Wollongong from 28 November to 2 December. President Tony Auld’s presentation was on ‘Understanding fire impacts on plants’. Amelia Martyn Yenson and Chantelle Doyle spoke during the Emotions in Ecology symposium (which Chantelle helped to convene).|
Image credit: Amelia Martyn Yenson