Plant Identity Now Traceable via DNA Barcoding

Published: Comments:

This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only.

Queensland research capabilities are under the international spotlight, with scientists DNA barcoding all 870 species of plants found in south-east Queensland rainforests.

Science and Innovation Minister Ian Walker said the ground breaking work will build a global reference database, while assisting to protect rare species and map our state’s biodiversity.

“DNA barcodes will help quarantine officers, forensic investigators, land owners and others who need to quickly and accurately identify unknown plants and plant parts that may be poisonous, prohibited or legally protected,” Mr Walker said.

“It will significantly cut the time it takes to identify unknown rainforest trees, shrubs, vines and herbs.

“It will also shed light on the diversity of our subtropical rainforests and help us appreciate how rich and distinct they are.”

Dr Alison Shapcott from the University of the Sunshine Coast was awarded a Queensland Government–Smithsonian Fellowship in 2012

She spent 26 weeks in the Smithsonian Institution’s laboratories in Washington DC and has extracted and sequenced the DNA of 775 Queensland rainforest species so far.

“I’ve been able to achieve a lot in a short time by working alongside the Smithsonian researchers who perfected the extraction and sequencing of plant DNA barcodes and Queensland Herbarium botanists who are experts on the state’s flora,” Dr Shapcott said.

“We’ve generated a unique, three-gene DNA barcode for most species which will be shared globally via the International Barcode of Life (BOLD) and Genebank databases. And we’re breaking new ground by applying our barcodes to datasets of plants with known locations to assess biodiversity in southern Queensland rainforests.

“Our analyses show that sub coastal rainforests from the Conondale Ranges to the New South Wales border and those of the Scenic Rim have the highest species diversity and are the most distinct.

“We’re now refining our approach and working with collaborators to complete the Queensland rainforest barcode library and assess Australian rainforest diversity and the genetic distances between Australian species and rainforests on other continents.”

Curator in the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Botany, Dr John Kress, said Queensland’s contribution to the international library of known plant DNA barcodes was highly valued.

“This collaborative work on DNA barcodes has greatly advanced the technology used and will be of tremendous help in assessing conservation priorities in Queensland forests,” Dr Kress said.

Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts
The Honourable Ian Walker
Thursday 5th of September 2013

Queensland Government :
07 3224 4500
07 3221 3631
Queensland Government
Showing 8 recent articles for this business
2016-17 snapshot reinforces QR’s focus on becoming modern, world-class railway 29 September 2017 | Queensland Rail has released its performance snapshot for 2016-17, reinforcing the organisation’s continued focus on delivering a modern, world-class railway service. More information...
Parliamentary Committee seeks input into changes to Queensland’s work health and safety laws 01 September 2017 | The Finance and Administration Committee wants to hear your views on proposed changes to Queensland’s work health and safety laws. More information...
Parliamentary committee calls for submissions on amendments to mineral and water legislation 24 August 2017 | A Queensland parliamentary committee will conduct an inquiry into the Mineral, Water and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. The bill proposes a number of changes to mineral and water legislation. More information...
Young women set to Smash the Ceiling at Queensland's Parliament House 03 August 2017 | A seminar to encourage young women to consider a career in politics is being held at Queensland's Parliament House tomorrow (Friday 4 August). More information...
Parliamentary committee examines respectful relationships and sex education and student’s use of technology 19 June 2017 | A Queensland Parliamentary Committee is inquiring into how to improve respectful relationships and sex education relevant to the use of technology in Queensland state schools. The committee has invited written... More information...
Extra $220M package to assist Queenslanders bounce back from TC Debbie 11 May 2017 | The Palaszczuk Government has proposed it and the Turnbull Government jointly fund a $220 million package to provide additional assistance for communities, businesses, industries and the environment following the... More information...
Queensland SES teams vie for top spot at rescue challenge 29 April 2017 | State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from around Queensland will test their rescue skills and battle each other for the top spot at the SES State Disaster Rescue Challenge this weekend in Townsville. More information...
Queensland moving from disaster management to recovery 10 April 2017 | The response to ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and associated severe flooding is moving from disaster management to recovery. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service