Main aim of work/project:
Selection criteria of morphological parameters for sorting mature somatic embryos of Pinus radiata.
The 21st Century Tissue Culture Partnership is a project to fully automate the production of radiata pine varietals via somatic embryogenesis (SE), with the aim of reducing the overall cost of the current Petri dish-based protocols.
In the process of producing somatic embryos, the harvest of individual mature embryos from the culture is the most time consuming/costly step. Within this project this step is being automated with the development of a Fluidics system being designed to meet the specific selection criteria of radiata pine, based on image analysis to identify embryos most likely to germinate.
This project aims to physically characterise mature somatic embryos of radiata pine in order to establish selection criteria which will be required for development of the image analysis part of the fluidics system.
What the student will do
The student will get the opportunity to be involved in some steps of the in vitro propagation technology (somatic embryogenesis) used with Pinus radiata, maturation and germination. They will be expected to be involved hands-on in these stages and will be responsible for collecting data related to morphological features. They will be expected to use a microscope and image analysis software. This will give the student valuable experience in in vitro propagation of pines, collection of data and microscopy in correlation with machine learning.
Qualifications, skills and attributes needed:
- Minimum NCEA - level 3, with a strong science component
- Excellent hand-eye coordination and an eye for detail
- Some microscopy experience would be an advantage
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