Improving the Impact from Current and Future Genetic and Genomic Investments

The University of Queensland

  • Project code: PRO-016485

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Monday, March 13, 2023

  • Project completion date: Monday, May 13, 2024

  • National Priority: NEI - New and Emerging Industries - E2

Summary

This project will develop evidence-based strategies for 22 Australian emerging rural industries to access superior genetic material that supports improved productivity, profitability, and sustainability. These industries are 1. Amaranth; 2. Cocoa; 3. Coffee; 4. Dragon fruit; 5. Finger Lime; 6. Guayule; 7. Hazelnut; 8. Industrial hemp; 9. Insects (Black soldier fly); 10. Jackfruit; 11. Jujube; 12. Kakadu Plum; 13. Lavender; 14. Moringa; 15. Murray cod; 16. Native bees; 17. Pine nuts; 18. Pomegranate; 19. Rambutan; 20. Sesame; 21. Sunn hemp; 22. Vanilla.  These industries have been identified as prioritising varietal and/or genetic diversification.

 

This will be achieved by combining the expert knowledge of key stakeholders (including growers, processors, researchers, AgriFutures) in the target-industries to develop decision frameworks for each industry. In addition, detailed business cases will be developed for two opportune industries, and these will serve as additional guides for industries wishing to invest in genetic improvement technologies.

 

The project team brings together experts in conventional and quantitative breeding, translating genetics and genomic technologies for genetic improvement, intellectual property and regulatory frameworks, and research commercialisation and business development. The team will:

  • identify the priority needs and challenges of target industries;
  • identify existing germplasm superior to material currently deployed in Australian industries;
  • review the opportunity and constraints for the production of new superior germplasm through the application of conventional breeding or emerging technologies (e.g. marker-based or whole genome selection, gene editing or modification);
  • review regulatory frameworks relevant to the access, development, use, protection and dissemination of the genetic materials for the target industries;
  • develop strategies (including where possible potential public-private investment) for target-industries to access (existing or new) superior germplasm;
  • develop an evidence-based decision-making framework to objectively evaluate potential investments in accessing existing or new superior genetic material;
  • develop a business case for two target industries (determined in consultation with AgriFutures), using the decision-making framework and a design thinking approach, and
  • communicate results to industry stakeholders (including AgriFutures) and potential investment partners. 

The knowledge and tools from this project will enable industries to develop plans for short-, medium- and long-term investment for efficient access to superior germplasm, and potential partners to more clearly understand opportunities for co-investment.

Program

New and Emerging Industries

Research Organisation

The University of Queensland