11 September, 2015
Sugar Research Australia (SRA) and the Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI) of Vietnam have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will pave the way for exchange of genetic material between the two countries’ plant breeding programs.
The 10-year MOU is aimed to allow both countries to improve their sugarcane plant breeding and deliver improved outcomes for growers and millers.
This will be done by SRA and the SRI Vietnam working collaboratively to exchange sugarcane germplasm between their respective breeding programs, as well as working cooperatively on research on sugarcane diseases and pests of mutual interest, and other collaborative research ventures such as trait development, molecular biology and crop management.
SRA Chairman Mr Paul Wright AM said that expanding the genetic base within the SRA sugarcane breeding program was vital for SRA to be able to continue to develop new and improved sugarcane varieties for growers and millers.
“SRA already has variety exchange agreements in place with more than 15 countries around the world and this new MOU with Vietnam is expected to deliver new opportunities for growers and millers, by allowing us access to a greater pool of genetic diversity,” Mr Wright said. “Bringing in overseas genetics to our breeding program allows us to improve the parent population in the program.”
Director General of the SRI Vietnam, Dr Nguyen Duc Quang, said that the MOU would benefit both countries’ industries, as breeding material often came from different sources.
Vietnam also has some important diseases and pests which are of biosecurity concern to Australia.
“Working together, we can help lessen their impact on the Vietnamese industry, as well as ensuring that the Australian industry is well prepared for any incursion,” Dr Nguyen Duc Quang said.
Media contact: SRA Manager Communications Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815.