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Terrestrial Orchid Conservation
Dr Karen Sommerville - Technical Officer
In order to develop good seed collections that will be useful for future restoration programs we have begun using the following protocol:
The majority of the seed is processed and banked in the NSW Seedbank at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan and the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A small sub-sample of the seed is sown over the soil samples and incubated in the dark for several months till seedlings develop. The seedlings are then placed on a selective medium to enable isolation of the fungus and, finally, the fungal isolate is tested to ensure it is the correct strain to initiate germination.
We now have seed collections for thirteen of these threatened species and the correct fungal isolates for seven. Fungal isolates for another four species are in the process of being tested. These collections will provide a useful resource both for future restoration programs and for research into the biology of the threatened species.