This research incorporates cell biological, molecular biological and biotechnological tools into a number of areas. We are ideally equipped with plant tissue culture facilities to investigate the growth of plants in in vitro conditions for breeding, conservation and commercialisation.
The cones of female hop are important to the brewing industry as they contain the resins and essential oils that impart bitterness and aroma to beer. The hop plant also possesses a number of unique chemicals that have the potential to be developed into phytoceuticals. The Australian hop breeding program relies on the development of polyploids. In collaboration with the Hop Products Australia we investigate ways in improving hop for the brewing and emerging industries, including:
Although triploid hops are nominally sterile, they can produce seedlings with ploidy levels ranging from diploid to hexaploid. These sexually derived polyploids permit significant changes at the genome level and have the potential of short-cutting traditional breeding.
Several species of Australian Acacia are of high commercial importance in tropical to temperate regions. In conjunction with researchers in Australia, South Africa and Vietnam, we are using some of the above-mentioned technologies in polyploid breeding strategies for Acacia improvement, including the generation of sterile triploids.
Additionally, we use tissue culture for the conservation of rare and threatened native Tasmanian plants. An additional aim of this work is to generate elite quality Tasmanian plants for local and export markets.
In conjunction with other researchers in the School of Plant Science and University of Tasmania, our research group is involved in a number of projects including:
Authorised by the Head of School, Plant Science
16 April, 2012