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University of QLD to conduct agriculture based research and development projects

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Research and development projects between The University of Queensland (UQ) and agricultural industries will increase following a combined $3 million donation from the Federal Government and a range of industry partners.

The four research and development projects involving researchers at UQ's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences were announced by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, as part of the latest round of Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants.  

The Federal Government contributed almost $2 million to the grant, while industry partners Ridley AgriProducts, Agri-Science Queensland, Eli Lilly Australia and Bioenergy Plantations Australia, among others, provided just over $1 million funding.   

“A cross-disciplinary project with Ridley AgriProducts and involving UQ biochemistry and animal scientists is studying whether adding probiotics to the stockfeed of cattle, sheep and poultry will increase stockfeed efficiency and consequently the animal's body weight,” Professor Neal Menzies, Head of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the University of QLD said.

The four research and development projects that have received funding from this grant and recruited researchers from the University of QLD are include:

  • The tree legume Pongamia pinnata on coal mine spoil: an integrated and sustainable rehabilitation, bioenergy and carbon farming production system – looks at the growth performance of the tree legume Pongamia pinnata on coal mine overburden.  
  • Evaluation of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens H57 as a probiotic in livestock using animal nutrition studies and metagenomics – aims to improve animal production through gene sequencing, which will unravel how microbial communities in the rumen of sheep and cattle and the gastro intestinal tract of poultry respond to feed quality and probiotic bacteria.
  • Fertility crisis: harnessing the genomic tension behind pollen fertility in sorghum – aims to identity the genes responsible for a trait that makes hybrid seed production possible.
  • Harnessing the genome of the Australian paralysis tick to develop effective control products - involves an examination of the harmful substance produced by the salivary gland of Australia's paralysis tick with the aim of developing new, safe treatments and/or preventative vaccines.

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