“Smashed  Avocado” is the most Instagrammed food in the world and the posterchild of millennial ‘wellness’. But in the lab, avocado is a recalcitrant and difficult beast!

In this seminar, Dr Alice Hayward from the Mitter Lab at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation will take you on a journey describing a large team effort bringing the world’s first avocado tissue cultured plants from the lab to the orchard and hopefully soon to an Instagrammable plate near you.

Updates will be shared including progress across various cultivars, and the results of three years of field trials testing plant performance. In addition, she will cover the work of research partners on industry uptake and perceptions of tissue culture as well as predicted financial implications of the trees entering the market.

Dr Alice Hayward  

Dr Alice Hayward is a Plant Molecular Physiologist in the Mitter Lab at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation. Her interests include using biotechnology to understand plant form and function and improve horticultural sustainability, and she is passionate about restoring and preventing further degradation of the environment.

The Mitter Lab team specifically focuses on genetic and tissue culture technologies to improve our understanding of productivity and develop commercial propagation solutions for crops in close partnership with industry. The team also have a dedicated research stream in cryobiotechnology for the conservation of recalcitrant crop germplasm, as well as rare and threatened plants. Their aim is to help our industries and environment become more resilient to ongoing change and assist with conservation and recovery of endangered plants through tissue culture innovations. The teams' flagship species is the avocado, and our team has been involved with producing the first genome sequence for avocado, as well as the world's first commercial tissue culture pipelines for avocado propagation and cryopreservation. The ongoing vision of the team is the extension of these technologies to new species and crops for both horticultural and environmental outcomes.

Dr Alice Hayward, UQ Amplify Researcher at the Centre for Horticultural Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation E: a.hayward@uq.edu.au 

Related article:

Queensland science makes the avocado production bottleneck toast

The world’s first Hass avocados produced by trees grafted on tissue culture plants are tasty, healthy, and disease-free, say University of Queensland scientists, who pioneered the break-through technology.

For any questions, please contact the QAAFI Science Seminar Committee.


About Science Seminars

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.