Conservation technologies for safeguarding and restoring threatened flora: case studies from Eastern Australia
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This paper highlights recent advances and improved scientific understanding of conservation technologies through selected case studies on threatened plant species indigenous to Eastern Australia. This includes investigations into seed desiccation, storage responses and cryopreservation in rainforest species, particularly the socio-economically important Australian native Citrus spp., Davidsonia spp. (Davidson’s plum) and Syzygium spp. This work also (1) increases our understanding of ecological correlates of seed desiccation sensitivity for predictive use and (2) improves restoration practice through better understanding of seed storage and germination requirements. The use of in vitro conservation technologies in support of conservation actions for endangered species is outlined in case studies on Wollemia nobilis (Wollemi pine), epiphytic and terrestrial orchid species, and an endangered fern species.
KeywordsRainforest seeds In vitro culture Cryopreservation Recalcitrant seeds Ex situ conservation
CO and KH received support from the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation (Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia) through generous donations to the Rainforest Seed Project by Allianz Pty Ltd., Tony Maxwell and Robyn Godlee as well as support from the Seed Quest NSW programme (Mount Annan Botanic Garden, Sydney, Australia), a partnership with the Millennium Seed Bank Project (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK). SA has received support through the Seeds for Life QLD programme, a partnership with the Millennium Seed Bank Project (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK). CO thanks Carolyn Porter and Joanne Tyler for laboratory support.
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