Developing efficient breeding strategies to improve yield and quality in passionfruit

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Passionfruit (Passiflora spp.) is a highly valued tropical fruit crop renowned for its distinct flavour and aroma. The crop is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. It is not only rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, but it has been also traditionally used for medicinal purposes to treat various ailments. It is a common ingredient in a range of food and beverage products, including juices, jams, and desserts. Despite its significant economic value, the Australian passionfruit industry is facing numerous challenges that have impacted the quality, yield, and profitability of the crop. One of the significant challenges is the lack of diversity in Australian passionfruit varieties/ germplasm, leading to susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses, which reduce the quality of the fruit. The majority of passionfruit production in Australia is based on two main types: the purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) and the yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa). While these types are well suited to Australian conditions, they showed susceptibility to a range of pests and diseases, which impacted yields ad reduced the quality of the fruit. Another issue facing the passion fruit industry in Australia is the lack of new varieties being developed and introduced for Australian conditions. While research and development have been continuing in the genetic improvement of these crops, there has been little success in introducing them to Australian markets. To address these challenges, the Australian National Passionfruit breeding program led by Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, is aiming to extend the genetic diversity in the breeding population, identify the genetic mechanism of trait expression and develop an efficient method of breeding new varieties for continuous delivery of high performing and profitable cultivars.  This project will develop and use cutting-edge technologies to accelerate success in the breeding program.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Mobashwer Alam

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of molecular breeding would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of plant science, genetics, breeding, agriculture, botany and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of genetics and/or plant breeding is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2026. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process