SOME 300 macadamia wild and cultivated varieties are being sequenced to help deliver more productive and more profitable nut trees.
Hort Innovation R&D manager Dr Vino Rajandran said sequencing the diverse wild and cultivated macadamia varieties was being done as part of the National Tree Genomics program.
The new knowledge gained from this research allows the Australian industry to explore new and innovative ways to boost productivity and profitability through genetics," Dr Rajandran said.
"The Hort Innovation Macadamia Breeding Program will be critical in converting this new knowledge into new varieties for Australian growers".
Australian Macadamia Society chief executive officer, Jolyon Burnett, said the national breeding program was one of the most significant investments the industry was making in R&D.
"We are investing because we are confident that we can build on the genetic diversity in the wild macadamia trees to develop new cultivars with improved attributes for both growers and global consumers," Mr Burnett said.
"These improved varieties should give Australian growers a competitive advantage over macadamia growers in other countries and see Australian macadamias remain the best of the best."
University of Queensland Professor Robert Henry said the genetic make-up of the nation's five leading tree crops were being extensively mapped.
"This will give us a more precise basis for breeding future crops for specific key traits," Prof Henry said.
Macadamias are the second-biggest export nut in Australia after almonds, with the export value predicted to be $350 million by 2025.
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