NSW Agricultural Genomics Centre

NSW-Ag-Genomics-Centre-RGB_310-copy

 

 

The NSW Agricultural Genomics Centre is an unincorporated joint venture alliance between Industry & Investment NSW, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG), and CSIRO. 

Background

The Centre was created in response to the New South Wales Government providing funding in support of biotechnology research in the area of agricultural genomics as part of its BioFirst initiative. The NSW Government committed $5.82M over five years (2006-11) to support Centre activities.

The purpose of the Centre is to build on the complementary strengths of the partners in relation to agricultural genomics through collaborative research.

Australia has experienced a series of dry years and climate change predictions are for more of the same.  Australia’s crops need to (a) be productive in regimes of less water and (b) produce required quality in adverse conditions. We know that adverse climate conditions affect yield, grain size and quality. Hence both productivity and marketability are affected.

It is not clear whether climate change will result in a shift of the sowing-flowering-harvesting times that currently are utilised.  If it does it may be necessary to select different agronomic types.  Alternatively, it may be that the existing growing window will be unchanged but plants better able to cope with the adverse environmental conditions are selected.  Either way, for breeders to be able to select appropriately and efficiently, a complete understanding of the biochemistry and genetics underpinning flowering, maturity, water use, rate of grain filling, tolerances to heat and frost stresses is required along with an understanding of the interactions between effects and their influence on grain quality. Pre-breeding research will be conducted on wheat (theme A) and canola (theme B) to contribute knowledge to these vital areas.

Consequently the technical focus of the NSW Agricultural Genomics Centre is on preparedness for climate change recognising that Australian cropping need to be productive in water constrained and increasingly adverse conditions. Climate affects yield, grain size and quality; hence both productivity and marketability are impacted.  

Three research themes have been developed

  1. Theme A: Maintaining wheat yield and quality in an environment of adverse climate conditions by understanding and improving drought tolerance and water use; 
  2. Theme B: Adapting canola to climate change through understanding genetic variation, flowering control and heterosis.
  3. Theme C: Molecular diagnostics of pests and pathogens.

More information

More information about the Centre can be obtained from:
John Oliver
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute
PMB
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
Phone: 02 6938 1816
Email: john.oliver@industry.nsw.gov.au