Genetic diversity and population structure of wild and domesticated macadamia (MC18004)
What was it all about?
From 2019 to 2022, this investment uncovered information on the genetic history of macadamias that will ultimately assist in developing new and improved varieties for growers. As wild populations of macadamia are found only in subtropical eastern Australia, they are an irreplaceable source of genetic material that could be used to develop improved varieties.
The work saw researchers gather information from more than 1,000 trees at sites of wild, uncertain and planted origin with distinct genetic clusters identified. As part of the project, several historically significant trees were also sampled.
Researchers found evidence of extensive mixing of previously isolated genetics between regions due to human or natural activity, including dispersal by bee pollination and seed dispersal by small mammals, gravity and water.
The investigations provided new information on genetic diversity and the structure of macadamia that can be used to prioritise wild populations and individual trees for conservation.
Find out more about the project by visiting The Wild Macadamia Hunt - Healthy Land and Water (hlw.org.au)
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund