2. Nursery propagation
NZDFI’s One Billion Trees partnership is enabling us to scale up production of improved nursery stock, both clonal plants and seedlings produced from our first-generation seed orchards and breeding populations.
This year we contracted two nurseries in addition to our regular provider, Morgans Road Nursery in Blenheim, to produce plants for us. And while Morgans Road Nursery continued to achieve high levels of high-quality seedling production, our two new contract nurseries were less successful in producing the quantity and quality of seedlings we were seeking.
This led to a shortfall of plants, and some growers who had ordered plants were left disappointed.
Moreover, availability of NZDFI’s improved E. bosistoana and E. globoidea seed is limited, and the seed is costly to collect and clean, so we need to maximise the nursery stock produced from the improved seed. The seedling production technique used by Morgans Road (germination in trays, followed by pricking out) is now proven to give the best outcomes, and nurseries contracted to grow NZDFI stock in future will use this technique.
3. Next steps under the 1BT partnership
The XyloGene brand was officially launched in November (see next item) and NZDFI’s future generations of improved nursery stock will be marketed under this brand. NZDFI has registered the XyloGene trademark to certify the genetically improved seed and germplasm.
The breeding and propagation programmes continue apace, with new nursery contracts in place, seed collection completed and orders taken for the 2022 programme, and Proseed already gearing up for increased output of seeds and clonal material.
Our tissue culture project is also making good progress as also reported later in this newsletter.