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Completed project

New breeding technologies and opportunities for the Australian vegetable industry (VG16010)

Key research provider: Murdoch University
Publication date: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What was it all about?

The plant breeding technologies available for the improvement of vegetable and other crop plants are advancing rapidly. The cost of DNA sequencing has dropped dramatically, and now complete genome sequences are available for most important crop plants. In addition, today’s molecular plant breeders are armed with new technologies to make specific changes to genes in living cells, in some cases without the presence of any introduced DNA.

This project set out to assess the status of new or innovative breeding technologies to help inform decisions on future vegetable R&D investment.

The project had four major components:

  • A scientific review of the current status of the new technologies and their potential application in crop plants
  • An evaluation of industry and market attitudes toward the use of new breeding technologies to develop improved vegetable cultivars
  • An assessment of consumer attitudes to new breeding technologies
  • An assessment of the regulatory environment in Australia and countries that are key destinations for the export of vegetables from Australia.

The research team found that leading Australian researchers are, in general, strongly positive about the benefits of new breeding method for vegetable development.

Vegetable seed merchants and breeders held a more conservative but open stance, holding potential concerns about market access and broader acceptance.

Leading growers were less positive, again on the grounds of consumer acceptance concerns as well as cost concerns.

The report outlines the current regulatory systems for new technologies, and summarises regulatory systems of major vegetable importing countries.

The researchers concluded that changes will be needed in regulations and that public concerns will need to addressed before the vegetable industry will be able to fully benefit from new developments.


This fact sheet for growers was produced out of the work.

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2017. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).