Research Themes, NSW Agricultural Genomics Centre

Aerial view of irrigated cereal trial, Yanco.
Aerial view of irrigated cereal trial

Research Themes

Research Theme A is a group of five projects focussed on wheat.

Theme B is three projects focussed on canola.  The general thrust of both is to better understand the biochemistry and genetics underpinning flowering, maturity, water use, rate of grain filling, tolerances to heat and frost stresses along with an understanding of the interactions between effects and their influence on grain quality.

For wheat we are using a three-pronged approach:

  1. Utilising a populations in a bi-parental and association mapping approach to identify alleles of interest and associated markers for use by breeders;
  2. Developing a specific population for further pre-breeding research;
  3. Developing isogenic lines with different maturities and varying grain filling rates for research and use as parents by breeders.

For canola, we also have a three pronged approach:

  1. Establishing the association between candidate genes and flowering time;
  2. Performing functional analyses of flowering genes using a mutant population of canola, and establishing relationships between gene(s) underpinning winter habit, and flowering;
  3. Identifying the key genes for the increased vigour found in hybrids and to develop novel applications;

Theme C has a biosecurity outcome.  We are contributing to the development of a universal DNA-based diagnostics system (DNA barcodes) for the identification of pests and diseases in Australia. This is a novel approach to rapidly and accurately identify pests and diseases and leads to the prompt diagnosis of invasive pest species. It should also prove to be a useful tool for tracking the effect of climate change in altering regional pests and diseases patterns.

The primary expected outcomes from the NSW Agricultural Genomics Centre are the maintenance of yield and quality in an environment of adverse climate conditions, and the development of technologies for rapid and accurate diagnosis of pests and diseases.  A secondary outcome will be the fostering of research relationships between organisations particularly I&I NSW, ACPFG and CSIRO PI.