Aquatic ecologists with Queensland’s Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) are working with CSIRO, ANSTO and Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) on a project that aims to build an “epigenetic clock” for River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis.
This project will identify changes that occur in the tree’s DNA as it ages and correlate these changes with tree age.
This will enable botanists, ecologists and foresters to determine tree age using a tissue sample of only fifty milligrams, rather than using the more destructive techniques currently available.
To make this a reality, we are seeking to collect tissue samples from River Red Gum trees of known age.
We would like to hear from managers of botanic gardens that include River Red Gum in their collections and know the age or planting time of their specimens.
We would then send interested gardens a small kit and instructions on how to collect the DNA samples.