Transcriptomics of adventitious rooting potential in avocado propagation
I have spent my PhD examining the molecular regulation of adventitious rooting in avocado, under the supervision of Prof. Neena Mitter at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. My competitive nature and love for science has seen me achieve academic excellence throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. During my Bachelor of Biotechnology at UQ, I received numerous Deans Commendations for High Achievement and obtained a cumulative GPA of 6.7. I have also completed the Advanced Studies Program in Science and have been awarded a number of research and academic achievement scholarships. My PhD studies investigated the role of microRNAs in adventitious root production in avocado, which is a major bottleneck for our Australian avocado industry. I was awarded the prestigious UQ Senate Frank Nicklin Scholarship to support my PhD research. While awaiting revisions for my thesis, I am currently coordinating field trial management of world-first tissue cultured avocado trees, responsible for five sites across two states and cumulatively examining over 500 trees. All commercial avocado trees are grafted, whereby the rootstock of one plant is joined to the fruiting scion of another. There are two types of rootstocks: seedling plants or clonally propagated plants generated from mature tree cuttings. Open-pollination of avocado flowers causes high heterozygosity in seeds; thus, conservation of valuable traits between parent stock and progeny is poor. Clonal propagation of rootstocks, which completely conserves parent stock genetics, requires adventitious rooting (AR) of cuttings; however, avocado is highly recalcitrant to AR. I used several molecular approaches, including microRNA profiling and transcriptomics, to better understand the molecular regulation behind avocado AR and indeed, potentially understand the source of recalcitrance. By better understanding the regulatory components involved in avocado AR, strategic improvements can be made to enhance the efficiency to the existing protocol for rootstock clonal propagation.
Madeleine Louise Gleeson won an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best oral presentation at the I International Symposium on Avocado at IHC2018 in Turkey in August 2018.
Madeleine Louise Gleeson, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Level 3 South, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org