Murdoch feeding $1b Chinese wheat market

June 13, 2017

Murdoch University is helping Australian farmers improve wheat quality.

Murdoch University is helping Australian farmers improve wheat quality, as they look to capture a bigger slice of China’s $1 billion market.

Scientists are working to increase the protein content of Australian wheat, making the product more attractive to Chinese buyers.

Professor Rudi Appels, a renowned wheat geneticist from Murdoch University, is a former leader of the Australia-China Joint Research Centre (JRC) for Wheat Improvement (the Wheat JRC).

Professor Wujun Ma currently heads up the Centre, which consists of 28 full time researchers, including eight research scientists, 16 PhD students, and four visiting scientists from China.

“The Wheat JRC is working to increase Australian wheat marketability in China by improving the amount of grain protein content for producing Australian and Chinese domestic food products,” Professor Appels said.

“China currently imports around $391 million of wheat from Australia and $1.14 billion worldwide, so there is potential for more growth in the Chinese market.”

The collaboration has support from the Australian and Chinese governments, research institutions and industry, built on a foundation of over 20 years of interaction in wheat grain research.

“In both Australia and China the Wheat JRC is a game changer in lifting research achievements to a high level,” Professor Appels said.

“The Wheat JRC has contributed to finalising a high quality wheat genome sequence that has made Australia a significant international player within the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC).

“Through the consortium we are now focusing on determining the genes that control quality attributes of the grain and new advances in agronomic performance in the field.”

The Wheat JRC has received significant funding support from the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, which has been the catalyst for leveraging additional funding from the industry and research sectors.

See the latest news from Murdoch University here.

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Comments (One response)

ANDREW TAGGART June 14, 2017

Good to have Rudi still connected to Murdoch and pushing our research impact with Wujun Ma. Protein is the new gold.

The new Government in WA is seeing how important Murdoch is to our agriculture export industry. Barley, Meat and Wheat production are pillars of Murdoch's agriculture profile.

Beer, Beef and Bread. A great trifecta of research excellence at Murdoch.

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