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Geneticists get down to business

peter ades and co

Brad Potts, Dorothy Steane, Peter Ades and Rebecca Jones take a break from brainstorming and enjoy the crisp evening air in Hobart.

On 18-19 June 2009, Peter Ades (University of Melbourne) joined colleagues from UTAS in Hobart to provide industry partners from Forestry Tasmania with an update on the fine and broad scale population genetics of the ashes - in particular Eucalyptus obliqua and E. regnans. The research team that comprises students and staff from UMelb and UTAS are examining (i) fine-scale genetic relationships between trees within populations, as well as (ii) broad scale genetic relationships between populations within each species.  The results from these studies will be used to refine guidelines for seed collection from both native forests and silvicultural stands (eg, seed orchards).  The refinements to the guidelines will aim to maintain natural levels of diversity in seedlots, minimise the risk of inbreeding depression in future generations of resown areas, and maximise the survival and growth of trees in resown areas.  The researchers will also combine their DNA-based results with quantitative genetic data and GIS technology to identify native ash populations of high conservation value and will formulate appropriate strategies for their long-term management and conservation.
Biobuzz issue nine, August 2009