Horticulture Scholarship To Unlock Pink Lady Mystery

  • Up to $150,000 scholarship awarded to Golam Azam for PhD to map the genetic makeup of Cripps Pink apple
  • Research to accelerate the delivery of new and improved, tasty apple varieties

The Cook Government is driving cutting edge research in Western Australia by supporting the inaugural John Cripps Horticulture Scholarship for studies that will pave the way to new, tasty apple varieties.

PhD student Golam Azam has been awarded the $150,000 scholarship, named in honour of the renowned WA breeder of the Pink Lady apple, which will assist him to unlock the genetic mystery of the Cripps Pink variety and its variants.

Genome mapping will help plant breeders identify DNA markers crucial for developing unique, high-performance varieties, creating fresh options for apple lovers and new market opportunities for industry.

The innovative work also reduces apple breeding costs and fast tracks improved and more profitable apple varieties.

Mr Azam will undertake his PhD studies at The University of Western Australia, where he will be mentored by experts from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

Western Australia is home to the Australian National Apple Breeding Program, based at DPIRD’s Manjimup Horticulture Research Institute, which has a nursery of more than 50,000 seedlings.

The scholarship is funded by royalties from horticulture varieties developed by the State, including those from Cripps Pink and Cripps Red apples – marketed as Pink Lady, Sundowner and Bravo.

The initiative has been endorsed by the Cripps family and John’s daughters, Alwyne Parker and Dr Helen Cripps.

As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:

“People all over the world enjoy the fresh crisp taste of apple varieties developed in WA’s South West and this cutting edge research, which is supported by the State Government, will help develop more varieties for consumers to enjoy.

“I congratulate scholarship recipient Golam Azam, who brings a wealth of prior knowledge and experience to his PhD studies.

“It is fitting that the inaugural recipient of this award is going to build on the enduring legacy of John Cripps, while also supporting the future of the WA’s important horticulture industry.”

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