Macadamia is Australia’s only globally traded native food commodity, with the industry worth A$850M and employing thousands of regional Australians. Demand for macadamia is booming at 7 per cent annually.
Tissue culture and cryopreservation of macadamia has benefits not only for conservation but also for production of macadamia.
Dr Alice Hayward
, at The University’s Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), says the team aims to overcome current bottlenecks in macadamia plant propagation for industry using innovative tissue culture methods.
“Ultimately this could provide scaled-up production of high quality and genetically uniform plants for farmers, and also enable more rapid uptake of improved commercial varieties and rootstocks from breeding programs,” Dr Hayward says.
Professor Neena Mitter
, leading the research team at QAAFI, sees this project as ultimately supporting macadamia as a high-value asset to our economy, conserving biodiversity, providing resilience against global change events, and developing future industry leaders.
The project is being funded through the Australian Research Council Linkage Scheme and in partnership with the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; MacQ Pty Ltd; Aurora Macadamias Pty Ltd; Macs Network Operations Pty Ltd; Aurora Macadamias Pty Ltd; Bush Holdings Pty Ltd; Australian Macadamia Society Limited; Macadamia Conservation Trust.
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