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Southern Cross University’s Australian Plant DNA Bank Limited to be launched on international stage

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Published
7 June 2004
The Australian Plant DNA Bank Limited will be launched internationally at the Bio2004 Annual International Convention, in San Francisco, this week.

The DNA Bank, based at Southern Cross University in NSW, is the leading facility of its type in the world.

It aims to preserve the genetic material from all of Australia’s 25,000 species of flora. The material, stored frozen at -20° and -80° C, is being used to research and identify the characteristics and relationships of plant species from around the world.

The chief executive officer and director of SCU’s Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, Professor Robert Henry, said from San Francisco that the DNA collection of Australia’s flora heritage would account for approximately 10 per cent of the world’s entire flora.

“The DNA Bank is attracting immense scientific interest from collaborators, including companies, researchers and international agencies,” Professor Henry said.

“The plant DNA bank is intended to play an important role in the conservation network and will be an invaluable resource for international research.

“Ideally the DNA Bank team hopes that through an increased effort to better understand the diversity within our flora, better management and conservation strategies will be developed.”

Professor Henry said the genomic DNA was extracted using robotic platforms which enabled high throughput with increased accuracy. The bank provides a resource for discovery of genes of value in medicine, agriculture and food industries.

Information about each sample is stored on the website: www.dnabank.com.au

For information about the Australian Plant DNA Bank Ltd contact the curator, Nicole Rice, on tel: 61 2 6620 3409 or email: [email protected] (www.dnabank.com.au)