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Tracking the ancestry of Australia’s macadamias

Rural News

Mapping the DNA of macadamia trees is hoped to lead to productivity gains with the nut variety.

The native Australian tree is about thirty million years old, originating in the Queensland town of Gympie.

HortInnovation Research and Development Manager Dr Vino Rajandran told Macquarie’s Rural Reporter Eddie Summerfield, it’s a significant project.

“We’ll do a genetic test, very similar to ancestry.com to see how related they are to each other,” Dr Rajandran said.

The nut variety sees annual production valued at about $300 million annually.

Dr Rajandran says there’s plenty to be learned from the relatively young crop.

“The modern macadamia commercial crop is only two generations away from its native form, when you compare that to apples, almonds, or citrus for example we’re a long way away, those crops were cultivated thousands of years ago.”

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