Kings Park Breeding Program

Episode: 8
Title: Kings Park Breeding and Fusing Cells
Broadcast: 7 May 2016
Presenter: Nigel Ruck

The team at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens do a great job breeding new plants with a strong link to the well being of our environment. Follow Nigel as he takes a look around to see what they’re up to.

  • Scientists in the lab work at a microscopic level with plant cells.
  • They use a range of techniques in their plant breeding systems such as cross-pollination as well as laboratory based techniques such as early embryo rescue and cell fusion.
  • For cell fusion, two parent plants are taken and through a number of processes are reduced to a single cell. The cells are then fused together and the fused hybrid cell is grown back up into a whole plant.
  • It’s a similar process as to what happens inside of a flower, it’s just taken outside of the flower into the lab where they have more control.
  • They are currently targeting the Geraldton Wax flower and a related genus, the Verticordia. The Verticordia has brightly coloured flowers that they want to bring into the Geraldton Wax flower.
  • By doing this, Verticordias that are generally difficult to grown in your own garden will receive the tough gene from the Geraldton Wax flower so that you will be able to grow Verticordia-like flowers in your own garden. The Geraldton Wax Flower will receive the bright colours from the Verticordia, increases the number of exports in the flower industry.