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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.