Somatic fusion within the Haemodoraceae

Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

  • Project code: PRJ-008850

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, March 31, 2013

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

  • National Priority: NEPI-Incubate new and emerging plant industries, support breakthrough projects


This project will target selected species and hybrids within the Haemodoraceae that will provide desired attributes for enhancing the varieties currently used for cutflowers and landscaping. Anigozanthos hybrids that are industry standouts will be used as the base varieties for improvement strategies as they are already successful in the market. Within Conostylis the focus will be on the taller flowered species such as C. robusta and C. candicans, and the cream flowered species C. breviscapa and C. setosa. Macropidia fuliginosa will be included for its eye catching green and black flowers.
Targeted species and hybrids will be initiated into culture to allow production of callus from cultured plants. Methods of producing cell suspension cultures and protoplasts directly from leaf mesophyll tissue will also be investigated. Varieties which perform well in these experiments will then be used to further develop methodologies for producing and stabilising cell suspension cultures and protoplasts.
Once protoplast cultures are stabilised and have sufficient yield and densities they will be subjected to pre-fusion treatments, such as fluorescent dyes, to determine the efficacies of such treatments. These treatments allow fused hybrid cells to be separated out from cells that have not fused. Following pre-fusion experiments, electrofusion techniques using the recently purchased Eppendorf Multiporator will be investigated.
Simultaneous with the fusion experiments protoplast-derived callus will be regenerated into whole plants in culture to determine the best methods for regenerating fused protoplasts. These techniques will be applied to the fused cells once they are obtained in sufficient quantities. These plants will then be deflasked and evaluated in the greenhouse and nursery.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

Objective Summary

This research proposal will deliver new, unique, high value hybrid cutflowers that cannot be developed by conventional means. It will result in the application and publication of contemporary methods of biotechnology to the commercially successful Haemodoraceae family. It will enhance the Australian industry’s capacity to better exploit the genetic diversity in the Australian flora and will position Australian industry and researchers as leaders in the international arena for developing elite plants for cutflowers.