Earlier this month, Perth was visited by renowned horticultural geneticist Professor Masayoshi Shigyo of the Yamaguchi University in Japan.
Prof Shigyo in charge of international exchanges at the Faculty of Agriculture at Yamaguchi University. He has international experience in plant genetics and breeding, including an integrated omics analysis on Allium species, for more than 30 years. As a plant breeder of vegetable crops, he has particular interest in biotic stress tolerant and innovative omics approaches.
Recently, his attention has been drawn to the study of genetic resources in general, which has seen the search for vegetable genetic resources in various parts of Asia. He has researched and laid the foundations for the cultivation of vegetables in plant factories, and developed new plant cultivation methods using purple, red, and blue LEDs.
His visit to Perth was hosted by the University of WA’s Institute of Agriculture through the International Society of Horticultural Science, and Perth NRM was honoured to facilitate several site visits for the professor.
Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator (RALF) Graham McAlpine organised visits to three horticultural sites in Perth’s northern suburbs. Professor Shigyo was interested in learning about local food production issues and discussed a range of topics with each grower including techniques for growing premium quality fruit, genetic developments in onion species, how packaging affects shelf life of produce, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for local food provenance and business diversification.
Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager Dr Ingrid Sieler facilitated a visit to Western Australian Botanic Gardens research facilities where the Professor was given an overview of current conservation research and rehabilitation programs for WA’s diverse terrestrial floriculture and marine ecosystems. Prof Shigyo particularly applauded the developments in genetic tools that were being used in biodiversity management.
While here, Prof Shigyo also gave a presentation to the University of WA Institute of Agriculture researchers and industry partners on the multidisciplinary vegetable crop research being undertaken at Yamaguchi University and explored the opportunity for future research exchanges.
Thank you to the organisers for including us in this fantastic opportunity. The visit would not have been possible without the coordination and assistance of everyone involved, including:
- Dr Peter Batt – former Director of the Curtin School of Agribusiness, Director of Oceania ISHS and consultant to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation
- Professor Kadambot Siddique – University of WA Institute of Agriculture
- Sue McDougall – Director of Western Australian Botanic Gardens
- Western Australian Botanic Gardens lead researchers – Digby Growns (Plant Breeder), Dr Jason Stevens (Senior Research Scientist), Dr Carol Elliott (Mine Restoration Research Lead) and Dr Elizabeth Sinclair (Marine Research Lead)
- Nadine Marinovich – manager at Blue Bells
- Peter and Jenny Nuich – grower at Nuo’s Grapes
- Paul Glavocich – grower at Glavocich Produce and Board Director of Vegetables WA
Note: Click here to view a list of Professor Shigyo’s publications