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A Race Against Myrtle Rust - Conserving Swamp Maire Seed


Wed 5 May 2021, 3:30pm–5:00pm

Where: Ngā Manu Nature Reserve, 74 Ngā Manu Reserve Road, Waikanae, Kapiti Coast

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission for all - paper koha. Your generosity supports the Ngā Manu Trust: $5.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Listed by: adminqwl

This lecture is the first of 6 in our 2021 Winter Lecture Series and talks of the challenges in conserving Swamp maire seed and the race against Myrtle Rust. It will be given by Karin van der Walt – Conservation and Science Advisor, Otari Native Botanic Garden, Wellington.

Myrtle Rust is a fungal disease which impacts plants in the Myrtle family. The global pandemic strain of Myrtle Rust was discovered on mainland New Zealand in May 2017 and has now become established throughout most of the climatically suitable areas. Although the impact of Myrtle Rust on Swamp maire is not currently clear, it is likely to result in reproduction failure due to the destruction of flowers and fruit. Since Myrtle Rust is a windborne pathogen, there is limited options to protect natural plant populations and one of the only tools available is the long term storage of germplasm (seed, embryos, cells, shoots or pollen) which will enable us to grow more plants in future. Swamp maire seeds are however sensitive to drying and freezing and can therefore not be conserved using conventional seed banking methods. The only alternative is through a process called cryopreservation during which embryos, removed from the fleshy seed, are treated and then stored in liquid nitrogen (at -196 degrees C).

Where: Robin’s Nest building at Nga Manu, 74 Nga Manu Reserve Rd, Waikanae.
Entry: by paper koha on the door. Please register for this event on our website as if you are not on our list we may not have room for you as seating is limited.
Please arrive at 3:30 pm for tea & biscuits and to take your seat.
The Lecture will start promptly at 4 pm and finishes at 5 pm

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