Australia’s Warm-Season Turf Collection and Genetic Resource Centre (GRC)
Australian Sports Turf Consultants (ASTC) is now the custodian of Australia’s Warm-Season Turf Collection which now contains over 160 varieties of turfgrasses. The varieties comprise of 15 genus and 27 species of turfgrass and the majority of them are, have been or are soon to become commercial varieties. The turf collection also serves as Australia's Genetic Resource Centre (GRC) for warm-season turfgrass for the purpose of Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) testing in Australia.
In August 2015 ASTC commenced the selection and relocation process of the former Redlands Turf Collection following lengthy discussions with IP Australia's Plant Breeder's Rights Office and the former title holders the State of Queensland through The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The Redlands collection, initiated by Dr Loch, contained some 200 varieties and included many Australian ecotypes that had been collected or obtained by members of the former Redlands Turf Research program which was disbanded in 2012 following a machinery of Government' change.
Between August 2015 and now, turf material has been grown-on and multiplied to provide plant material for the central collection and as a backup. Backup material is housed at ASTC's Brisbane office, whereas the central collection is held within Australia's Warm-Season Turf Genetic Resource Centre at Stockleigh, 40 minutes south of Brisbane's CBD, which is maintained by ASTC.
The turfgrass collection will serve as a GRC and be used (where applicable, adhering to the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994 and Australian and United States Patent regulations) for research, multiplication, breeding and serve as an educational source for persons of the wider turfgrass industry and general public. It is anticipated that scheduled field days will be held so that people can see the different species and varieties of turfgrass growing side-by-side. This is particularly important for the next generation of turf managers and greenkeepers so they can physically see and feel the difference between species and varieties of turf. Such an education experience is invaluable to those starting in our industry.
A significant point of difference with the turfgrass collection is its linkage with TurfFinder.com. Turf Finder has been developed by ASTC to assist professional turf managers and home owners in selecting the best available turfgrass to meet their needs. Turf Finder provides factual independent information on commercially available turfgrasses being sold by professional turf producers from across Australia. Each variety within the reference collection, including commercial and non-commercial varieties, will be labelled with a scientific, common and variety name and possess a quick reference (QR) code specific to each variety. The technology will allow a visitor to be able to scan a varieties QR code and be taken directly to the Turf Finder web site listing relevant information about that particular variety. And for commercial varieties, the web site will also identify from where the variety can be purchased from across Australia. Such detail has never been made available to the general public or turf industry before.
The following turfgrass species (varietal info. to be updated) reside within Australia's Warm-Season Turf Genetic Resource Centre: