Centre for Horticultural Science

 

Driving innovation and industry adoption

The Centre for Horticultural Science delivers improvements to productivity, profitability and sustainability of horticulture industries. Our world-class researchers drive innovation and industry adoption to increase the competitiveness of Australia’s horticultural industries globally.

We work in close collaboration with government, industry and growers to boost innovation, productivity and economic growth.

Centre Director
Professor Neena Mitter

Tel +61 7 334 66513
n.mitter@uq.edu.au

    Research Highlights

    Queensland scientists are tackling one of the world’s worst threats to banana crops – bunchy top disease – with help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Led by QAAFI’s Associate Professor John Thomas, the research aims to tackle bunchy top disease by strengthening the ability to control and eradicate the disease globally.
    The project involves controlling bunchy top in Nigeria and Benin, and looking for sources of resistance in Southeast Asia – the ground zero of banana disease. The project will look to Southeast Asia, where many bananas and their diseases originate, to identify wild species of seeded bananas that may have natural resistance to bunchy top.
    A world-first innovative tissue culture technique that is set to double Queensland’s avocado production and smash the global shortage of avocado trees.
    To boost production of horticulture crops such as avocado, QAAFI research team led by Prof Mitter are combining microscopic tissue culture cuttings with new plant propagation techniques to produce hundreds of rooted plants from a single cutting in 12- months. We are looking forward to translating this platform to propagate tree species such as macadamia, mango, lychee and other high value horticultural crops.

    Research Impact

    UQ scientists have joined forces to develop a breakthrough that has the potential to bolster global food security. An estimated 795 million people across the globe do not have enough food to lead a healthy life.

    Case studies

    QAAFI’s high impact science has solved a 100-year mystery regarding the sexual cycle of the fungus that causes black spot on the fruit of Queensland mandarins. Researchers can now induce the production of sexual spores of this fungus in the laboratory, allowing for inoculation and screening for resistance against the black spot disease.
    Macadamias are the first – and so far only – Australian native food crop to see significant commercial development, and the home-grown nut’s flavour and nutrition attributes have generated a surge in popularity in recent decades.
    In March 2015, a banana farm in Tully in Far North Queensland went into lockdown. Harvesting of fruit was stopped and movement of plant material, soil, equipment, vehicles and people on and off the farm were restricted. More than 16,000 banana plants were destroyed.

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