Seed tech­nol­ogy holds prom­ise for fu­ture

Shepparton News - Country News - - COBRAM & DISTRICT PONY CLUB TRIALS -

A new seed-coat­ing tech­nol­ogy could help to bring de­graded land­scapes back to life and re­paire dam­aged ecosys­tems, ac­cord­ing to new re­search from Curtin Univer­sity.

Pub­lished in the jour­nal Seed Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy last week, the re­search will al­low sci­en­tists and prac­ti­tion­ers around the world to make their own de­signer seeds for eco­log­i­cal restora­tion, to cre­ate health­ier soils, wa­ter, air and more vi­brant bio­di­ver­sity.

Co-au­thor Kings­ley Dixon, from Curtin’s School of Molec­u­lar and Life Sciences, said his team of re­searchers at the ARC Cen­tre for Mine Site Restora­tion had de­vel­oped de­signer seed tech­nolo­gies which could help bring de­graded land­scapes back to life when ap­plied to na­tive plant species.

‘‘The air we breathe, the wa­ter we drink, and the food we eat are the goods and ser­vices we get from healthy ecosys­tems. Yet in Aus­tralia and all over the world, nat­u­ral ecosys­tems are de­stroyed at an un­prece­dented scale and rate,’’ Pro­fes­sor Dixon said.

‘‘Bring­ing back healthy ecosys­tems is the aim of eco­log­i­cal restora­tion, and the most cost­ef­fec­tive way to achieve it is by plant­ing na­tive seeds. The prob­lem is that seeds of­ten fail be­cause of poor soil and dif­fi­cult con­di­tions for plant ger­mi­na­tion in de­graded land­scapes.’’

Lead re­searcher Si­mone Pedrini, also from the School of Molec­u­lar and Life Sciences at Curtin, said the in­ven­tion of seed coat­ing, orig­i­nally de­signed for agri­cul­ture, may be the so­lu­tion for global restora­tion.

‘‘Seed-coat­ing is the cov­er­ing of seeds with ma­te­ri­als to im­prove pro­tec­tion, ger­mi­na­tion and seedling growth,’’ Mr Pedrini said.

‘‘How­ever, seed-coat­ing recipes are owned and kept se­cret by pri­vate seed com­pa­nies and fre­quently used for mar­ket­ing pur­poses.

‘‘By re-de­vel­op­ing seed-coat­ing from scratch, re­searchers at Curtin Univer­sity are the first to pub­lish and make openly avail­able in­struc­tions for de­vel­op­ing seed coat­ing pro­to­cols, which may have im­por­tant en­vi­ron­men­tal implications.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.