Leucaena leucocephala ssp glabrata (leucaena) is a fast growing leguminous tree used in beef production systems around the world. The genus comprises 19 diploid species and five tetraploid species native to seasonally dry tropical forests. In Australia, leucaena is planted in hedgerows with grass in between, and grazed directly by beef cattle. It is the most financially attractive option for improving profitability of beef production in the 600-800 mm rainfall zone on fertile soils in Central Queensland, and has enormous potential for enhancing red-meat production in Western Australia, Northern Territory and possibly New South Wales. However, leucaena has been assessed as a very high environmental weed risk in these areas. The availability of a sterile leucaena variety would provide a huge boost to the red-meat industry in these, and other areas where the weed status of leucaena prevents commercial plantings. In this project, you’ll have the opportunity to work in the field and/or laboratory to investigate a range of plant breeding technologies for the development of a sterile leucaena variety of high forage quality.

Location: St Lucia campus

Supervisor: Dr Chris Lambrides

Project members

Dr Christopher Lambrides

Senior Research Fellow
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences