DNA Fingerprinting Complete
RES’ ERS Nursery Receives Certification for Coastal Restoration Marsh Grasses
August 15, 2013
Resource Environmental Solutions’ wholly-owned ERS Nursery at Pointe Aux Chenes is pleased to announce the completion by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry of their inspection process where the ERS Nursery received State plant material certification. The ERS Nursery is now one of the first in Louisiana to offer Certified Plant Materials for coastal, estuary, marsh and barrier ecological restoration activities.
“Obtaining Certified Material status is another key milestone for the Nursery at Pointe Aux Chenes”
Grown from seed stock supplied under license from the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center, the ERS Nursery team dedicated resources to propagate named varieties of smooth cordgrass — Spartina alterniflora cultivars Jefferson and Terrebonne. After one year of growth, the plants were tested using DNA fingerprinting to assure that the each of the ten plant samples for each variety matched the DNA fingerprint marker from the original LSU-supplied seed source. The Plant Diagnostic Center reports that the plant samples matched 100% and that there were no off-type genetics. Lester Cannon, Assistant Director of Seed Programs at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, said, “The LSU Ag Center program developed several genetically diverse lines of marsh grass. A groundbreaking joint effort involving the LSU Ag Center, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry and other industry interests has ensured a reliable source of certified high-quality marsh grass varieties to be used for Louisiana coastal restoration projects. The ERS Nursery has done a great job of growing and propagating large volumes of these smooth cordgrass lines using DNA fingerprinting and isolation ponds, which we recognize as a repeatable, sustainable grow out approach.”
“Obtaining Certified Material status is another key milestone for the Nursery at Pointe Aux Chenes,” said RES chief executive officer, Elliott Bouillion. “We are proud that our team was able to dedicate resources, achieve successful growth volumes of marsh grass and then complete DNA testing, all one year from project startup. Our sustainable approach to growing marsh grasses and other native plant species allows us to supply restoration projects along the Gulf Coast. These native species grasses are planted to stabilize our fragile coastline and improve Louisiana wetlands’ performance and ability to provide natural protection for our citizens.”