Genomics for Australian Plants

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Introduction

Australia’s unique flora is the result of millions of years of isolated evolution prior to collision with the Asian continent and subsequent floral exchange. There is an astounding 24,000 species of native vascular plants, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Genomic approaches offer the possibility of unlocking the enormous information in nuclear genomes for plant evolutionary and conservation studies to significantly improve conservation management decisions. There are currently 225 plants genomes, which represents 0.06% of an estimated 403,000 genomes available that had been assembled across the plant tree of life.

The central resource for this initiative will be derived from herbaria and botanic gardens (living collections) around the country. The addition of genome sequencing data would add significant value to the collections and contribute to the development of new methods and capabilities which can be adopted more extensively in the longer term.

For more information, please visit: http://www.bioplatforms.com/australian-plants/

Aims

The Initiative has three key aims:

  1. Sequence and assemble representative Australian plant genomes across across the plant tree of life to enable better conservation, utilisation and understanding of Australia’s unique plant diversity;

  2. Build genomic capacity across Australian Botanic Gardens and Herbaria to create networks collaborating in the collection, management, dissemination and application of genomic data for Australian plants;

  3. Provide tools to enable genetic data to be used to identify and classify biodiversity at a range of scales and to use these tools to inform conservation management and enable better decision making.

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