Germplasm. It sounds like a something from science fiction, but it’s key to conserving common, rare and threatened species.
Germplasm is a living resource, a store of plant tissues such as seeds, spores, potted plants and living collections in botanic gardens. Seeds can be stored in the seed bank, while tissue culture and cryopreservation is the top choice for species that can’t have their seeds frozen in the seed bank. It’s part of an insurance policy against extinction of native plants in the wild.
This way of conserving plants requires careful planning, unique skills and processes. They’ve been written up in "Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia", also known as the Germplasm Guidelines, a handbook for ex situ (off site) conservation. This year, the Guidelines have been updated, featuring the innovative work from scientists at the Australian Institute of Botanical Science.
This is what some of the contributing scientists had to say about the achievement;