Live Puccinellia Plants Wanted For Cytogenetic ResearchPuccinellia (Poaceae) is a genus of salt grasses which in New Zealand comprises seven species and two subspecies. Three species P. distans (L.) Parl., P. fasciculata (Torr.) E.P. Bicknell and P. rupestris (With.) Fernald et Weath., are naturalised, P. macquariensis (Cheeseman) Allen et Jansen is endemic to Macquarie Island (botanically part of New Zealand but an Australian territory), P. stricta (Hook.f.) Blom, is indigenous, while P. raroflorens Edgar and P. walkeri (Kirk) Allan (including subsp. walkeri, subsp. antipoda (Petrie) Edgar, and subsp. chathamica (Cheeseman) Edgar) are endemic. Chromosome numbers are now known for all these taxa, except P. walkeri subsp. antipoda. Recently it has been revealed that one sample of P. walkeri subsp. walkeri from Tiwai Point, Southland is pentaploid and sterile. Dr Brian Murray (University of Auckland) and a Masters of Science student are keen to establish, using modern chromosome painting techniques, the chromosome evolution of the New Zealand species, and the status of P. walkeri subsp. walkeri. To do this they require live plant material of both indigenous and naturalised (exotic) Puccinellia.
If you are able to help please send small plugs of these grasses with roots and leaves from known named localities, wrapped in wet tissue. These should be placed in a plastic bag and posted to the address below.
Dr Brian Murray, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland.
Multiple samples are wanted from as wide a range of localities as possible. The student is due to start their research early next year, so Dr Murray would need samples as soon as possible.
All assistance will be fully acknowledged. Thank you for your help.
Posted: 30 August 2005