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Establishing a French connection


Guy Roussel, INRA Research Centre of Bordeaux conducts a controlled pollination at Currency Creek Arboretum, South Australia.

For three months between October and December, the CRC and the School of Plant Science at UTAS hosted an exchange visitor from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), France.

Guy Roussel is a highly experienced research technician in the Joint Research Unit for Biodiversity, Genes and Plant Communities at the INRA Research Centre of Bordeaux.  Guy is a member of Antoine Kremer’s research group that studies genetics of forest trees, in particular oaks (Quercus). 

In 2008 Guy won an INRA award for his technical innovations in controlled pollination strategies.  He designed a “two-way cyclone injector” that blows harvested pollen from a “father” tree into pockets containing female inflorescences from the “mother” tree. This machine makes it possible to economise on the harvested pollen while still obtaining sufficient progeny for genetic analysis.

The crosses obtained between different species of white oak enabled the research team to establish the first genetic linkage map for the oak family. This map has since become a reference not only for oak but also for chestnut and beech which are closely related.

Guy was in Australia on a TRANZFOR exchange program.  Whilst here, Guy provided invaluable field assistance to many CRC students and staff.  Although he was based in Tasmania, he also assisted with projects further afield.  For example, Matt Larcombe’s project on genetic incursions from E. globulus plantations involved trips to Victoria and South Australia, including a visit to Currency Creek Arboretum where Guy provided Matt with some expert assistance with his controlled pollinations.