Now that plant breeder’s rights (PBR) on Sir Walter soft leaf buffalo has expired, Nick Dorney from AusGAP in conjunction with Lawn Solutions Australia (LSA), is running a series of DNA tests against the original Sir Walter foundation material.

AusGAP accredited growers of Sir Walter DNA Certified are undertaking Morphological analysis and DNA mapping to ensure their product is the genuine item, protecting consumers and further strengthening their commitment to the standards of Turf Quality as outlined in the requirements for AusGAP certification. Testing will be undertaken by AusGAP to meet both AusGAP and ITGAP genetic assured purity protocols.

The aim of this testing is to ensure breeder certification against the original Sir Walter foundation material held since 1996 by Brent Redman. The results of these test are to give AusGAP growers ‘Breeder Certification’ provided by Brent Redman, that confirms the current 2018 Sir Walter DNA Certified will also be Breeder Certified against original Breeder foundation material.

Members submitted their Sir Walter for DNA testing in 2015, but genetic purity of a grass variety can be lost over time, as has been seen with Greenleas Park Couch, Wintergreen Couch and some new Kikuyu’s.

The latest tests will be using different and more modern testing methods in Morphological analysis and DNA mapping, and the 2018 DNA Certification will replace any past Sir Walter certification that has been awarded.

Once testing is finalised, growers who receive positive results will receive breeder certification acknowledging the purity of their Breeder certified Sir Walter. If a grower does not have this certification, they have either not undertaken the testing, or their Sir Walter was not able to be matched with the breeder foundation material and is not genuine Sir Walter. The only way to know as a customer that you are buying the genuine Sir Walter, will be to buy it from an AusGAP certified grower, who has the ‘breeder certified’ logo attached to their DNA Certified Sir Walter.