The Genomics for Australian Plants Framework Initiative (GAP) consortium, formed by Bioplatforms Australia in partnership with researchers from the Australian State and National Herbaria and Botanic Gardens are proud to be a major partner and collaborator in a recent Nature publication presenting the most comprehensive understanding of the global flowering plant tree of life. The publication stems from a global partnership of 138 organisations that generated data from 9,500 species covering almost 8,000 known flowering plant genera (approximately 60% of the total known). The GAP consortium contributed genomic data for more than 750 genera.

Flowering plants (angiosperms) represent 90% of all plants on Earth, covering the majority of food crops and commonly grown flora for decorative purposes. Plants are important for maintaining our ecosystems and play a critical role in providing food and shelter.

The GAP consortium and the Royal Botanic Garden Kew worked very closely together in coordinating data generation, from methodology to analytics pipelines, for both the global plant tree of life and the Australian Angiosperm Tree of Life (AAToL). The AAToL is currently being constructed and the outcomes of this comprehensive national effort expected to be published this year. Both large scale studies and resulting tree of life will contribute significantly to the understanding and conservation of Australia’s rich biodiversity.

Andrew Gilbert, Chief Executive at Bioplatforms Australia says: ‘We are very delighted with the outcomes of our collaboration in RBG Kew’s effort to build a global flowering plant tree of life. We expect the outcomes of this work to have great impact on understanding evolution, biodiversity, conservation, biomedicine discovery and much more. Bioplatforms Australia is committed to fostering innovation and collaboration in scientific research both in Australia and globally to provide a persistent and reusable infrastructure to conserve the natural world for generations to come.

The Genomics for Australian Plants Framework Initiative consortium is supported by funding from Bioplatforms Australia enabled by the Federal Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), the Ian Potter Foundation, Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation (Victoria), Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, CSIRO, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Western Australia.

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