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Canberra, Australia
Canberra, Australia
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The use of in vitro techniques in the propagation and preservation of endangered plants for conservation activities has gained momentum worldwide in response to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GPSC). Although South Africa is commited to plant biodiversity conservation and successful academic research activities highlighting the relevance of plant biotechnology to plant conservation of indigenous plants, there are not many tissue culture facilities in the country that are active in conservation of indigenous plant species. There are a number of wellestablished Tissue Culture laboratories in the country, however these are confined to academic and agricultural research institutes and the commercial plant propagation industry. The Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries (PLC) Department manage and maintain all parks, leisure and cemeteries facilities and services that are accessable to all citizens of the eThekwini Municipal Area (EMA). It is in this context, the Tissue Culture Section is responsible for the provision of plant material through the process of micropropagation for the horticultural services within the PLC department. One of the horticultural services of the PLC department is the conservation of natural resources within the EMA, it is for this service, indigenous plants are propagated at the Tissue Culture facility. The Tissue Culture Section (of the Production and Display Division; Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries Department, eThekwini Municipality) in Durban, South Africa propagates a number of plant species indigenous to the east coast of KwaZulu Natal. Some of the species propagated at the facility are under threat in their natural habitat due to over harvesting for traditional medicinal practices. The indigenous species selected for in vitro propagation include those species that display poor rooting of cuttings, and known to produce low seed numbers and have relatively short seeding seasons. Species propagated include those that are listed as critically endangered and as vulnerable in the Red List of Threatend plant species. The in vitro propagation of indigenous orchid species have many functions. An overview of some of the successful conservation related projects of the tissue culture facility and some of the challenges of managing a tissue culture facility within a municipal nursery context and practical solutions to these challenges are included.


Burridge C.P.,University of Tasmania | Brown W.E.,Parks | Wadley J.,University of Adelaide | Nankervis D.L.,University of Tasmania | And 6 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

Populations on continental islands are often distinguishable from mainland conspecifics with respect to body size, appearance, behaviour or life history, and this is often congruent with genetic patterns. It is commonly assumed that such differences developed following the complete isolation of populations by sea-level rise following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, population divergence may predate the LGM, or marine dispersal and colonization of islands may have occurred more recently; in both cases, populations may have also diverged despite ongoing gene flow. Here, we test these alternative hypotheses for the divergence between wedge-tailed eagles from mainland Australia (Aquila audax audax) and the threatened Tasmanian subspecies (Aquila audax fleayi), based on variation at 20 microsatellite loci and mtDNA. Coalescent analyses indicate that population divergence appreciably postdates the severance of terrestrial habitat continuity and occurred without any subsequent gene flow. We infer a recent colonization of Tasmania by marine dispersal and cannot discount founder effects as the cause of differences in body size and life history. We call into question the general assumption of post-LGM marine transgression as the initiator of divergence of terrestrial lineages on continental islands and adjacent mainland, and highlight the range of alternative scenarios that should be considered. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


PubMed | 2 FAO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Leptospirosis, University of The Sunshine Coast, Parks and Queensland University of Technology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of wildlife diseases | Year: 2016

In 2014, we performed a diagnostic study of leptospirosis in Tasmanian devil ( Sarcophilus harrisii ) samples collected between 2008 and 2012 from wild and captive animals. Tasmanian devil populations have been declining because of a facial tumor disease since the 1990s, with ongoing investigations examining potential causative agents. Identifying other causative pathogens that may contribute additively to their decline is important to preserve current and future populations. We tested 81 Tasmanian devil serum samples and two tissue samples using PCR, microscopic agglutination test (MAT), and microsphere immunoassay (MIA). We found evidence of leptospirosis in Tasmanian devil populations across a wide geographic range of Tasmania. Antibodies to serovars in the serogroup Javanica, which are not considered endemic to Australia, were identified in 10 Tasmanian devils using MAT. We also identified serovar Celledoni serologically using the immunoglobulin G MIA and detected Leptospira in one sample using PCR.


Patent
Hoffenberg, Parks and Carpov | Date: 2014-01-01

The present application relates to novel HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins which may be utilized as an HIV-1 vaccine immunogens, antigens for crystallization and for the identification of broad neutralizing antibodies. The present invention encompasses the preparation and purification of immunogenic compositions which are formulated into the vaccines of the present invention.


Patent
Parks, Wright, New York University, Jurgens, Zhang, Arban Domi, Hoffenberg, Chiuchiolo, Rabinovich, Wilson and Lorenz | Date: 2013-10-02

The present invention relates to methods of developing gene inserts that are more compatible with the host vectors by modifying a protein sequence to lessen potential interference with vector propagation while ensuring that the protein is expressed and processed efficiently and maintains desired structural features, and designing a gene with a nucleotide sequence that resembles the base composition of the host vector genome.


Buckmaster A.J.,University of Canberra | Osborne W.S.,University of Canberra | Webb N.,Parks
Pacific Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

Urban development can alter species composition and diversity within an area through biotic homogenization, the introduction of exotic species, and localized extinctions of native species. In this study we examined the composition and diversity of small terrestrial mammals within nature reserves surrounded by urban landscapes and compared this with previous surveys of these reserves and nearby non-urban reserves with similar vegetative and geomorphological characteristics. A combination of live trapping and indirect detection techniques was employed in eight reserves in the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding New South Wales to determine current species composition. Compared with previous studies and the non-urban reserves, the urban reserves appear to have lost two-thirds of their native terrestrial small mammal species in the past 26 years. Exotic species were present in all urban reserves, but were only associated with areas characterized by human-induced disturbance in non-urban reserves. Possible causes of this disparity in native species diversity between urban and non-urban reserves are discussed.


Alderman R.,Parks | Alderman R.,University of Tasmania | Gales R.,Parks | Tuck G.N.,CSIRO | Lebreton J.D.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

Context Monitoring the status of albatross populations and identifying the factors driving observed trends remain international conservation and management priorities. The shy albatross is endemic to Australia and breeds only on three Tasmanian islands. Aims To provide a reliable total population estimate for shy albatross, including an assessment of demographic trends for each of the three populations where possible. We consider also key drivers of population trends for each population, particularly the potential role of fisheries by-catch, with an overall aim of determining the status of the species. Methods Aerial photography and ground surveys were used to estimate the number of annual breeding pairs and trends in adult and juvenile survival rates were calculated using markrecapture methods. At-sea distribution data was used to identify population specific trends in the overlap of shy albatross and fisheries to evaluate the potential influence of fisheries by-catch on the populations. Key Results The Albatross Island population increased post-harvesting but has recently stabilised at around 5200 breeding pairs, less than half its estimated historic size. This trajectory change appears driven by a decrease in juvenile survival. The small (170 breeding pairs) Pedra Branca population has recently declined, probably due to reduced breeding success associated with the increasing population of Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) on the island. The largest population (on Mewstone) comprises at least 9500 breeding pairs. Trends for this population are unknown. However, this paper demonstrates that these birds have greater overlap with trawl and longline fishing effort and are consequently at higher risk of fishing-related mortality. Conclusions Given the extent of fisheries overlap, survival rates for Mewstone individuals are likely to be lower than the Albatross Island population. Combined with recent trends on Pedra Branca and Albatross Island, we suggest that the current status of the shy albatross is likely to be stable at best and quite possibly decreasing. Implications The concerns raised about the conservation status of shy albatross reinforce the importance of continued population monitoring focussed particularly on establishing the trend of Mewstone. A thorough assessment of interactions with trawl fishing operations also is a management priority for this species. © CSIRO 2011.


Patent
Parks, Caulfield, Lorenz, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals | Date: 2013-05-01

The invention relates to generating a vaccine based on immunogens from viral particles that initially have replication competency but are then inactivated by chemical, biophysical or other methods. The components of this vaccine may be a non-HIV enveloped virus that contains and expresses a gene related to the HIV Envelope gene such that the Envelope protein is expressed on the surface of viral particles. These viral particles may be further treated to reduce their replication competency. The vaccine further may contain components to improve its immunogenicity, tolerability, stability and ease of manufacture.


Patent
Parks | Date: 2013-03-27

A charge-coupled device includes channel stops (804) laterally spaced away from the channel (802) by fully depleted regions (814).


Patent
Parks | Date: 2013-03-27

In various embodiments, image sensors include output channels enabling high-gain and/or low-gain charge read-out while minimizing charge-conversion noise.

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