Global Macadamia Science: Overview of the Special Section

in HortScience

Macadamia is a rapidly developing global crop; however, limited cultivation history and size of the industry means many challenges remain to support sustained productivity and profitability of this industry. This paper summarizes oral and poster presentations, and subsequent papers included in this volume, delivered at the 2017 International Macadamia Research Symposium, held in Hilo, HI, in September of that year. This was the first international meeting of macadamia researchers since 1992. The 28 oral and seven poster presentations covered propagation technology, tree physiology, soils and nutrition, pollination, pest and disease, orchard management, genetics and breeding, product development, and new production regions. Notable messages were that micrografting of macadamias is commercially viable; planting density and girdling could increase early yield per hectare; resource availability may limit cross-pollination yield; and yield production of individual branches is not independent. Integrated pest management was described to develop pest-resilient farming systems and manage felted coccid; an international collaborative approach was proposed for effective disease management and early detection; and the concept of integrated orchard management was used to translate research outputs into a common language for grower adoption. In the areas of breeding and genetic resources, research demonstrated that modern macadamia cultivars are two to four generations from wild but do not capture all wild diversity; progress was reported on the Macadamia Genome Project to produce the first macadamia reference genome; and advances in phenotypic selection and cultivar development were described.

Contributor Notes

This paper summarizes oral and poster presentations, and subsequent papers included in this special section that were delivered at the 2017 International Macadamia Research Symposium, held in Hilo, HI, in September of that year.

This paper was supported in part through the project “MC16000: Contribution to the 2nd International Macadamia Research Symposium 2017” through funding by Hort Innovation, using the macadamia research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

Craig Hardner’s contribution to this paper was jointly supported by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the University of Queensland, and Hort Innovation Australia using funds from the macadamia industry and the Australian Government.

We thank the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Association, Island Princess, Hamakua Nut Company, MacFarms, Crop Production Services, Mauna Loa, Hawaiian Host, Olson Trust, and Hort Innovation for financial and in-kind support for the 2017 International Macadamia Research Symposium.

Corresponding author. E-mail: c.hardner@uq.edu.au.

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    Attendees at the 2017 International Macadamia Research Symposium, Hilo, HI.

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    Three-year-old high-density (4.5 × 1.5-m) planting systems trial with cultivars HAES 741 and A203. (Photo supplied by Ben Toft.)

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