Endangered macadamia species become a wonderful botanical model

One of the world’s rarest tree species has been transformed into a complex model that University of Queensland researchers say is the future of plant research.

Macadamia Jansseni “It is a critically endangered macadamia species that was only described as a new species in 1991,” said Robert Henry, professor of innovation at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI).

“It grows near Miriam Valley in Queensland and there are only about 100 trees known.”

However, funded by Hort Innovation’s Tree Genomics Project, and the University of Queensland’s Genome Innovation Hub Macadamia Jansseni It has now become the most advanced plant research model in the world.

Professor Henry said Macadamia Jansseni It is perhaps the best studied species on the planet in terms of genetics.

Macadamia Jansseni It will likely become a model for the assembly of all future plant genomes.

Professor Henry said the entire jansenii species grow in one small area. “This means that we have the ability to study the diversity of the entire species,” he said.

“This is unusual, even for rare or endangered plants – it means we can get a lot of information about how rare plant species survive from the influence of small population size and the associated genetic bottleneck.

Professor Henry said that certain characteristics Macadamia Jansseni Make it useful for improving the technology and methodology for sequencing and assembling plant genomes.

He said, “We looked at different sequencing techniques, all the different programs and algorithms that you can use in genetic sequencing, and then we applied all of them to the same sample to find out what was best.”

“It’s a very long, complicated and expensive process, so we wanted to use the latest technology to improve its efficiency.”

Ms Valentine Murigneux of the Genome Innovation Hub analyzed the genome sequences and the QAAFI researchers then pooled all 14 chromosomes of the species, in collaboration with laboratories in the United States. This work was published in GigaScience.

Professor Henry said the work is of great significance globally.

“High-quality genome sequences are proving to be far more useful than approximate draft sequences with fewer errors and better plant breeding results,” he said.

Macadamia Jansseni Western botanists were first noticed in 1983, by Ray Janssen, a dog farmer and skilled amateur botanist from Southern Kulan in Central Queensland.

Dennis Bond, Executive Director of the Macadamia Conservation Trust since 2018, said about 60 new mature individuals Macadamia Jansseni Trees have been found, though a quarter of them were destroyed in wildfires in 2019.

We warmly welcome genome research Macadamia Jansseni Because it will help prioritize future conservation efforts, although the most important thing now is to protect the wild trees remaining in their original habitat, ”said Ms. Bond.

The remaining three types of macadamia said – M. ternifolia, M. tetraphylla And the MA – Included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species in 2020.

“This is a wake-up call for Australia to take better care of our native macadamia species.”

Professor Henry said all four types of macadamia – tetraphylla, Integerifolia, ternifolia and jansenii have now undergone the same analysis.

“It’s appropriate to develop this work in Queensland using the macadamia genus – one of the few Australian additives to food crops in the world,” he said.

Macadamia genomic work forms part of a five-year project to develop high-quality, detailed genome sequences of five of Australia’s major horticultural tree crops – avocado, macadamia, mango, citrus and almonds – which account for 80 percent of the value of the Australian horticultural tree crop.

“The macadamia data that we have created has been fed through a range of projects including research on the sustainable intensification of tree crop production and the cultivation of key commercial traits in macadamia production,” said Professor Henry.


This project is funded by Hort Innovation, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the University of Queensland.

Contacts: Professor Robert Henry, [email protected]+61 7 3346 2445; Denise Bond, Macadamia Conservation Trust, [email protected]+61 (0) 488432226; QAAFI Communications, Margaret Puls, [email protected]+61 (0) 419578356.

Images available via DropBox: https: //www.Drop box.Com /U /2yqwnurtg5e9h8p /AABv9RHMQ41rRqp9tIF15n-na? Dl =0

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