The commercial radiata pine seedling industry in New Zealand relies largely on control-pollinated seed. But, tissue culture technologies for mass propagation have always worked better with open-pollinated seed.
In collaboration with other New Zealand and Danish scientists, Cathy Hargreaves and her colleagues at Scion have overcome this practical hurdle by developing new methods to initiate and proliferate tissue cultures from control-pollinated radiata pine seeds. This new approach has increased regeneration success from around 15% to over 50% of all sampled material.
As a result of this success, commercial testing of these new tissue culture methods is now underway.