Achacha Fruit Black Spot
Medical, Biological and other Sciences
- This internship is able to cover project costs for domestic students only.
- The Industry Partner has implemented appropriate preparations to comply with Federal and State Government requirements regarding COVID-19 safety. Due to remote arrangements, this internship is now accepting applications from eligible PhD students nationwide.
- If your skillset is aligned with this internship and you are located remotely, please enquire with the Internship Contact to discuss possible arrangements.
ABOUT THE INDUSTRY PARTNER
The Achacha plantation is in the Burdekin Shire district, a district “built of liquid gold” – so called because the region is situated on a vast natural underground aquifer which is replenished with water from the mighty Burdekin River.
As well as being one of the largest sugar cane producing area in Australia, the Burdekin is also the mango and melon capital of Queensland and has a multi-million dollar horticultural industry, grazing and prawn farming.
With more than 300 glorious sunny days each year, miles of sandy beaches, unspoiled mangrove estuaries, unique wetlands, abundant birdlife, walking tracks and friendly country towns the Burdekin is a wonderful place to visit.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
- Opportunity to work on a fruit new to the market
- The fruit has the same black spot problem in other areas where it is grown, so international recognition available
- Unique opportunity to understand how the tropical fruit market works in Australia
RESEARCH TO BE CONDUCTED
Achacha Fruit Plantations (AFP) has pioneered the world-wide growing and marketing of the Achacha – AFP is the only commercial grower in Australia, and the largest in the world, with only one other known commercial grower, located in Guatemala. The fruit has become popular in international markets, although it is not well known by the public.
Some Achacha develop black spot smaller than a 5-cent coin but large enough to render the fruit unsaleable in the retail market. The edible part of the fruit is not affected, however. Tests and analyses by several organisations, including state institutions, indicate that the black spot is a secondary fungus; however, the primary cause of the spot has not been discovered. Currently it affects approximately 10% of fruit grown – which is a significant volume.
The research would attempt to determine what causes the black spot, and how it can be eliminated.
Note that AFP’s plantation at Palm Creek is certified organic and any research must take this into account.
SKILLS WISH LIST
If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:
- Understanding of diseases in plants/fruit
- Strong research experience
The following research outcomes are desirable:
- A literature review
- Testing and analysing the causes of blackspot in the Achacha fruit
- Providing recommendations
The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.
It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours and maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.
The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.
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