We are studying the manner in which genetic variation in eucalypts affects their interaction with a variety of pathogen, insect and marsupial species. We are collaborating with pathologists and entomologists to study the genetic basis of disease resistance and plant genetic factors affecting insect host choice using the commercially important E. globulus and E. nitens.
A core area of research investigates aspects of the genetic and chemical basis of eucalypt resistance to browsing mammalian herbivores. Projects focus on aspects of herbivore feeding preferences and plant genetic/chemical ecology. In collaboration with scientists in the USA, we are extending these genetic studies to the community, examining the genetic control of eucalypt-animal-fungi interactions and the impact of eucalypt host genetic diversity on the structure and composition of dependent communities and ecosystem processes (i.e. the extended phenotype of the tree).
Reproductive biologyWe are undertaking research on factors affecting seed production and the success of controlled pollination as well as studies to understand the genetic control of self-incompatibility, flowering time and flowering precocity. We collaborate with seedEnergy who has established a state-of-the-art seed production facility close to the University where techniques for mass and controlled pollination are being refined.
Authorised by the Head of School, Plant Science
17 April, 2012