HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : March 2015
ON FARM 49 • The Australian Pastures Genebank has been launched to help secure Australia’s rich pastoral heritage and ensure future farming success. • Based in Adelaide, the national genebank will enable a more efficient conservation and use of stored seed than under current state-based arrangements. • The resource centre is being funded by rural Research and Development Corporations including AWI. Aproject to consolidate seeds and data from current State pasture and forage collections into a national resource centre was launched in December with funding from AWI and other rural Research and Development Corporations. The Australian Pastures Genebank (APG), based at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Plant Research Centre at the Waite Campus in Adelaide, will enable more efficient conservation and use of stored seed. AWI General Manager Research, Dr Paul Swan says the APG could help Australia maintain agricultural productivity in the face of environmental and economic challenges. “Maintaining plant genetic diversity is critical to the long-term security of woolgrowers’ enterprises, through its contribution to pasture improvement efforts,” Dr Swan said. “The genebank will offer plant breeders tools to develop better pasture plants than presently available, which is critical for Australia’s grazing industries in increasing productivity while better adapting to drought, soil salinity, and disease, and changing environmental conditions.” Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, who attended the launch, said the genebank will provide valuable seed for future breeding programs. “Every cattle, sheep, wool and dairy producer in the country relies on pasture species which grow well, or are bred for, various climatic and soil conditions around Australia,” Minister Joyce said. “These pastures have supported our livestock and other industries for generations. Further improving pasture yield and productivity will be essential in meeting our food and fibre demands, and helps producers bring a greater return to the farmgate. “This integrated, national approach to the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources will enable plant breeders to better access varieties with the traits they want.” The APG project leader Steve Hughes of SARDI says arrangements are currently under way to transfer seed and associated data from significant Australian Government and State collections to the Waite Campus. “Our focus is initially focussed on supporting the transition and receipt of seed and data from the other collections into the APG, including rationalising the collections through the identification of duplicates,” he said. “To date the APG has received seed and data of more than 11,000 accessions from CSIRO and more than 12,000 accessions of the Queensland tropical forage collection. Collections in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, NSW and others will be transferred progressively during the rest of this year. “On completion of the major state genebank transfers and the removal of duplications, it is estimated that the APG will be custodian of the world’s largest collection of pasture and forage seeds, with about 70,000 accessions from more than 2,400 pastures and forage species. Most of the accessions will be unique to the APG; that is, they are not maintained in genebanks overseas. Data will be consolidated into one central database accessible online to the public via a website, and managed from the same location. Mr Hughes says after the initial acquisition and registration of varieties, the APG will maintain the collection using international standards for conservation. It will also undertake a program of regeneration at four sites across Australia of the most important and urgent varieties, which he says is critical both for maintaining seed health and for maintaining adequate stock of the material. “The varieties in the collection will be used to preserve and protect important genetic material for future plant breeding and the development of Australian grazing industries,” he added. “The distribution of seeds and data for research, breeding programs and education is regarded as the ultimate goal of APG operations.” While the APG will provide plant genetic diversity in the form of seeds of phenotyped plants, it will ultimately also provide genes for particular traits such as disease resistance. SARDI will manage the centre, with support from the Australian Government and all state governments. The genebank is funded by AWI, MLA, GRDC, Dairy Australia and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. GENEBANK Australian Pastures Genebank project leader Steve Hughes with one of the 200 boxes of seed from the Tropical Forage Collection in Biloela, Queensland, which arrived at the genebank in December. TO SECURE AUSTRALIA'S PASTORAL FUTURE