Rainforest species growing in the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Photo: E. Bunn.View image slideshow

Project title: Advanced cryobanking for recalcitrant-seeded Australian rainforest plants.

Dates: 2017 - 2021

Funding: Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme

Location: Biodiversity Conservation Centre (Kings Park), The Australian PlantBank (Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust)

Research themes

  • rainforest conservation
  • recalcitrant seed storage
  • cryopreservation
  • plant physiology
  • plant metabolomics

Project description

This project aims to provide fundamental knowledge to target the major impediments to cryostorage of recalcitrant-seeded native species: desiccation sensitivity with relatively large size, and active metabolism and precocious germination. These attributes severely limit the time available for effective use of collected germplasm for long-term storage.

A combination of biochemical, biophysical and molecular simulation approaches will be used to optimise cryopreservation of a wide range of endangered Australian rainforest species. This will enable conservation agencies to greatly enhance their ability to preserve the unique Australian rainforest flora, particularly given current threats due to habitat loss and global warming.

Key staff

Prof Ricardo Mancera (Curtin University), Prof Gary Bryant (RMIT), Dr Shane Turner (UWA), Dr Christopher Garvey (ANSTO), Dr Christina Walters (USDA-ARS), Prof Karen Koster (University of South Dakota), Dr Eric Bunn (BGPA), Dr Catherine Offord (RBG&DT)

Collaborators

Dr Bryn Funnekotter (Curtin University), Keran Keys (BGPA)

Recalcitrant Syzygium (Lilly Pilly) seeds, their high moisture content makes them unsuitable to conventional seedbanking. Photo: B. Funnekotter. Recalcitrant Syzygium (Lilly Pilly) seeds with the endocarp removed, used in the development of new cryopreservation protocols needed to cryobank recalcitrant rainforest species. Photo: B. Funnekotter.

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