Seeds at the forefront: Synthesis of the inaugural National Seed Science Forum and future directions in Australian seed science
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Seed science is fundamental to many fields of endeavour, from agricultural production, to restoration, and conservation of threatened species and communities. This is especially the case in Australia which has seen hugely increased involvement and outputs from seed scientists across many sectors over the last three decades. This escalation in research is reflected in the program and outcomes of the first National Seed Science Forum that was held in March 2016 and was attended by delegates representing many scientific institutions, industry, non-government organisations and volunteer groups. There were delegates from nine countries, and keynote presentations and workshops by global leaders in seed science. A key outcome of the Forum was the unique opportunity for discussion and collaboration across sectors. Another key outcome of the Forum, the Seed Science Special Issue of the Australian Journal of Botany, captures some of the emerging topical research and themes seed scientists are working on. Of particular note is the growth in germplasm conservation of native and agricultural floras, in line with, and at the forefront of, international collaborative efforts. The other strong theme across the Forum is the increasingly sophisticated use of seeds in restoration and the enabling technological advances. Future potential advances in Australian seed science are discussed.
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