Elite Research Scholarships

Manipulating apple and cherry tree physiology in production of premium quality fruit

Manipulating apple and cherry tree physiology in production of premium quality fruit

Demand for premium quality fruit is increasing in international markets, creating an opportunity for the fruit industries to expand production. This project will investigate whole-tree carbohydrate and nutrition physiology in order to develop innovative strategies to increase yield of fruit in the premium quality class.  Understanding the regulation of carbohydrate partitioning under intensive tree management systems is critical to effective manipulation of fruit growth and quality.  We will be testing the novel technique of artificial spur extinction to manipulate fruit size and composition in order to maximise yield of fruit in the premium quality class.  The project is part of the National Apple and Pear R&D program, and involves collaboration with Plant and Food Research New Zealand and with Washington State University, USA.  A mix of field and laboratory work is required, and there will be opportunity to spend time at collaborating research centres in Hawkes Bay NZ and/or Washington State USA.

Supervisors: Dr Dugald Close, Assoc Prof Matt Whiting (Washington State Uni), Dr Stuart Tustin (Plant and Food Research, NZ)

More Information: www.utas.edu.au/agsci
Contact: Dr Dugald Close
Dugald.Close@utas.edu.au