Growing profit from the ground up

New RIRDC research project to target seed quality and purity

Quality of seed is critical for farmers, breeders and seed companies alike. A new research project being funded by the RIRDC Pasture Seed Program aims to produce a simple, reliable and economic method for assuring seed quality and purity, and to potentially assist with seed certification of a number of important pasture and forage legume species in Australia and overseas.

The Molecular Markers for Cultivar ID and Seed Certification in Pasture Legumes partnership includes RIRDC, AgResearch and Gin Silico. The lead researcher, Kioumars Ghamkhar, has recently completed a three-year study, which yielded a fast, reliable and feasible cultivar identification technique in sub-clover at Gin Silico. That project discerned between 41 cultivars of sub-clover and was able to not only account for the cultivars but also the estimated purity in the seed mix.

Now, as the Director of the Margot Forde Germplasm Centre at AgResearch in New Zealand, Kioumars aims to extend this work to other important pasture species with the current project, allowing industry to be able to discern if “what’s on the tag is in the bag”, if they use the method being developed.

If successful, this project will speed up access to better quality seed to Australian farmers as well as international customers.

For more information contact Kioumars by email — kioumars.ghamkhar@agresearch.co.nz

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