Cereal innovation on show for Chief Scientist

December 9, 2011

The Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Lyn Beazley, has met with scientists at Murdoch University to learn more about their innovations in cereal biotechnology.

Prof Beazley, accompanied by Department of Commerce Project Officer Dr Penny Atkins, met staff from the State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (SABC) and Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA). 

The meeting provided the opportunity for Murdoch University and DAFWA staff to show how they were delivering science innovations through joint collaboration that will benefit the WA grain grower and contribute to the economic development of the WA grains industry. 

DAFWA Biotechnology Group Manager and Adjunct Professor of Murdoch University Dr Mike Francki presented the cereal biotechnology innovation pipeline for improving traits of high importance for WA production environments.

The presentation also provided successes of technology transfer to industry beneficiaries, such as commercial breeding companies, that will have flow-on effects to grain growers as end-users of the technology through the availability of new improved commercial varieties.

Prof Beazley was shown various aspects of the cereal biotechnology program at SABC including germplasm development and laboratory activities in DNA marker and protein technologies to track and select gene and trait combinations for wheat and barley improvement.

"This was an ideal opportunity to discuss and demonstrate how DAFWA and Murdoch University are jointly making a contribution to cereal variety development through science innovation," Dr Francki said.  

"It is important that we continue to find which gene and trait combinations are the best for cereal production and demonstrate to our stakeholders including commercial breeding companies, grain growers, the WA government and other industry partners, the success and importance of such innovations."

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