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‘Plant Treasures – in conversation’ webinar series

In collaboration with BCARM (BGANZ Collections and Records Management Group), the ANPC hosted a series of webinars based on the updated Germplasm Guidelines (third edition) which is now available both online (free) and as a hard copy for purchase.

You can find the full series of recordings, some presentation slides and links mentioned in the webinars below.

Webinar 4: An introduction to seed testing, germination and dormancy

The fourth and final instalment in our Plant treasures Webinar series was held on Thursday 9 June 2022 and gave an introduction to seed testing, germination and dormancy. Guest speakers for this webinar included Dr Lucy Commander, who managed the recent revision of the Florabank Guidelines, Dr Megan Hirst a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Royal Botanic Gardens and Deaking University and Dr Lydia Guja from the National Seed Bank who gave a talk on behalf of Dr Gemma Hoyle.

  • Both the Florabank Guidelines and Germplasm Guidelines include information on seed testing, germination and dormancy. These are useful for restoration seed banks, nurseries propagating Australian native plants and conservation seed banks. If you’re not sure which guidelines you need, we have created a handy reference page:
  • Lucy Commander explained how seed testing is an important part of the seed supply chain. Seed testing helps you understand whether you have filled, living seed – a handful of seed may only contain a small proportion of living embryos ready to grow! If seed is not tested, propagation or restoration failure can result, leading to wasted time and resources.
  • The Florabank Guidelines offer guidance on when to test, how to test, what equipment is needed and lists of online resources for further information.
  • Megan Hirst spoke about where to find species-specific information on seed germination and what kind of information you can use to plan successful germination tests (look carefully at the seed, its natural habitat and dispersal time – think like a seed!)
  • There are lots of different cues that help alleviate dormancy, such as heat shock and smoke, and these can be manipulated to improve germination results. Case studies in Chapter 7 of the Germplasm Guidelines offer insight into application of these techniques.
  • Gemma Hoyle and Lydia Guja walked us through the process of testing seed at the National Seed Bank at the ANBG. What do they do if seeds don’t germinate? How do you know when to pursue further testing and what steps can you take to improve results?
  • If you work on temperate grassland communities, in particular, you will want to watch this talk and keep an eye out for the upcoming paper from the ANBG seed research team.

Links mentioned in webinar 4:


Webinar 3:The role of the nursery and living collections in conserving native plant species: current practice and future needs

The third webinar was a special half day event held on Thursday 12 May 2022 and focused on living collections. It was opened by the Germplasm Guidelines project manager, Amelia Martyn Yenson. John Arnott (Curator of horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and BGANZ Council Representative for Victoria) then gave a theme introduction before the following presentations and videos:

  • VIDEO: The role of the plant nursery and living collections in ex situ conservation (John Arnott & Warren Worboys)
  • Overview of the Germplasm Guidelines (Dr Amelia Martyn Yenson)
  • VIDEO: Cutting propagation in the conservation nursery (Mandy Thomson)
  • Trials, Tribulations & Triumphs in Managing a Botanic Gardens Seed Orchard (Lorraine Perrins)
  • The role of the ANBG nursery and living collections in plant conservation (Dr Zoe Knapp)
  • VIDEO: Collection, processing and storage of fern spores (Tom North)
  • Biosecurity considerations in living collections (Amanda Shade)
  • What we can learn from conservation of crop wild relatives? (Dr Sally Norton)
  • VIDEO: Using ex situ collections of Australian native species: Translocation and other end uses (Dr Emma Dalziell, Dr Leonie Monks and Dr Andrew Crawford)

The webinar was concluded with a panel discussion facilitated by Michael Elgey (Curator Manager, The Australian Botanic garden mount Annan and BGANZ Council Representative for NSW).


Webinar 2: Plant Treasures: in conversation about biosecurity in conservation collections

The second webinar was held on Thursday 10 March 2022 and discussed biosecurity in conservation collections. To kick start the conversation this webinar included some special guests, including Dr Brett Summerell from the Australian Institute of Botanical Science, Bob Makinson, Conservation Botanist and former ANPC president and Bec Stanley of Auckland Council and former curator of the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Brett Summerell’s presentation slides

Slides from Bob Makinson’s presentation slides

Slides from Bec Stanley’s presentation slides

Article by Brett Summerell

Links mentioned in this webinar


Webinar 1: Plant treasures – in conversation about data collection and record keeping in ex situ collections.

The first webinar in our series was held on Thursday 10 February 2022 and focused on data and record keeping in ex situ collections. Our speakers included Emma Bodley, Botanical Records and Conservation Officer from the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Damian Wrigley, National Coordinator of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership, along with Amelia Martyn Yenson, Project Manager for the Germplasm Guidelines revision.

Slides from Amelia Martyn Yenson’s presentation

Links mentioned in the webinar

We invite you to subscribe to the free ANPC e-newsletter ANPC News for all the latest information on the Germplasm Guidelines revision, including details of upcoming workshops. Be sure to subscribe to the ANPC YouTube channel to access the latest content on demand.

For more information, please email the ANPC Project Manager (Germplasm Guidelines) Dr Amelia Martyn Yenson.