Sterile Leucaena Industry Update
The Sterile Leucaena Industry Update was attended by an attentive mix of researchers, industry, extension personnel and graziers. The condensed format enabled extensive discussions with heightened information sharing, perceptive questions and the ability for industry personnel and graziers to provide input to the researchers.
The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Chris Lambrides outlined the two methodologies investigated to date including mutagenesis and propagation. After achieving and assessing a significant amount of valuable industry research, the University of Queensland will be progressing with the plant propagation / cloning strategy.
Daniel Real of the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) explained both the DNA trait identification using CRISPR technology and the extensive hybrid cross-pollination strategies that have been investigated to date. DPIRD will continue to progress their clonal micro-propagation and plant breeding strategies.
UQ and DPIRD have not only achieved valuable industry research in both the development of a sterile Leucaena but have also identified other beneficial leucaena traits and potential varieties that would be of value to the grazing industry. However, like all good things, these final varieties require patience and whilst some extraordinary outcomes have been achieved and extensive progress made, the final development of a sterile Leucaena variety, in a form that can be utilised for both intensive and larger scale plantings, at a reasonable cost is still some years away.