Breeding Program gets a helping hand a First international PhD student arrives in Australia
Dr Michelle Wirthensohn
find the reason for the differences in these genes.
Professor Rahemi is also interested in self- incompatibility of almonds and he will be working on Australian cultivars to help identify their incompatibility groups, which to date, are mostly unknown. We will be using the germplasm collection at Simarloo, which is made up of Australian cultivars and kindly maintained by Leroy Sims. The University is also hoping to start a DNA database for almond DNA fingerprints, using cultivars currently inAustralia, helping to identify any unknown trees, but also to be a future resource and benefit for the Australian almond industry. This database will be applicable at international level due to the high number of overseas cultivars in Australia already, but will also be useful for genetic certification of propagated material. Other plant genetic databases already in use around the world include cotton, olives and sorghum. costs today than was the case in 2001. This can only occur with an absolutely dedicated staff team and a Board with a clear focus on enhancing operational effectiveness.” HAL chair, Dr Nigel Steele Scott praised the contribution Mr Webster had made to the company. “John’s commitment to HAL and to horticulture has been outstanding. The Board congratulates him on everything he has achieved.” “The Board will be moving to find a replacement as a matter of urgency,” Dr Steele Scott said. Mr Webster completed his duties at HAL on April 30th Media contact: Dzintra Horder 02 8295 2334 or email@example.com
Angel Fernandez, a visiting Spanish PhD student, has recently arrived in Australia to work with Dr Michelle Wirthensohn at the University of Adelaide on the Australian Almond Breeding Program. Angel will be here for two months, conducting research on almond incompatibility, specifically on the reason why some almonds are self-fertile whilst others (most) are not. One of the techniques he will be using is 3D modelling of the proteins that cause self-incompatibility. He will compare the ‘Self-fertile’ protein (Sf) with the ‘Self- incompatible’ proteins (S8 and S23) to see whether there are differences in their shape, which may be the reason for self- fertility in some almonds. Angel will also conduct some molecular studies to try to John Webster, managing director of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), announced his resignation on March 30, 2009 after eight years. As HAL’s inaugural managing director, Mr Webster oversaw the development of a new company following the merger of the Horticulture Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Horticultural Corporation. In his time as managing director, Mr Webster has steered the company through significant growth with an increase in investments for Australian horticulture from $49 million in 2000/01 to $92 million this year. He has also presided over an increase in industry membership from 29 peak industry bodies in 2001 to the current level of 37.
In early May we expect another visitor, this time from Iran, Professor Majid Rahemi of Shiraz University, who will be on sabbatical leave at the University of Adelaide for nine months.
PhD student Angel Fernandez
Media Release Managing Director announces resignation
company has worked to maximise the return to levy payers through a strong partnership between the company and the industry that it serves. “I am very proud of what the company and its members have achieved for the industry,” Mr Webster said. “The company and the industry have grown and matured a great deal over the last eight years and I have been privileged to have had a role to play in that. The platform for significant future growth in the industry is in place and HAL’s investment in industry programs will help underpin this growth”. MrWebster paid tribute to thededication of the Board and staff at HAL. “We have run a very lean organisation as befits any industry body, with a greater percentage of industry funds being invested in industry programs rather than company