Conservation Biotechnology

Seed storageThe Conservation Biotechnology team are involved in a range of research programs with the aim of providing new, efficient and innovative ways to enhance in vitro propagation of Australian plants, provide critical micropropagation research for endangered plants and ultimately conserve endangered plants and specific plant taxa that are difficult or impossible to propagate by conventional methods.

The Propagation Science team conduct research critical to the success of off-site conservation and translocation of endangered plant species including, in vitro technology (tissue culture, micropropagation, somatic embryogenesis), cryostorage and mass production of plants for restoration/translocation projects.

Recent research highlights include:

  • Improved in vitro propagation of new rare and threatened plant species;
  • Using advanced tissue culture techniques to produce artificial seeds for restoration programs;
  • Understanding and reducing abiotic stress in native plants for improved restoration;
  • Improving the transfer of in vitro propagated plants to soil for restoration programs;
  • Research on cryogenic methods for long-term storage of seeds and tissues of endangered plants.

Please contact Dr Eric Bunn with enquiries relating to conservation biotechnology.

The Conservation Biotechnology group undertakes research into advanced propagation and cryogenic research of plants for biodiversity conservation purposes.

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Major research initiatives include:

  • Tissue culture propagation of endangered flora for ex situ conservation

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Current and ongoing research projects include:

  • ARC Linkage project (LP0561956), Em/Prof JA McComb (Murdoch University); Dr E Bunn; Dr KW Dixon (BGPA). In vitro propagation (through somatic embryogenesis) of rush and sedge species important for land rehabilitation. Total of $220,000 over 3 yrs. Partner Organization(s): Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, Worsley Refinery, Seed Solutions (Administering Institution: Murdoch University).

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Key outcomes of the project so far are:

  • Many endangered plants saved from extinction (e.g., Grevillea scapigera, Hemiandra rutilans, Symonanthus bancroftii and many others) in an ongoing research program of ex situ preservation by researching and improving tissue culture protocols.

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