Phebalium stellatum

Aim: Reference genomes (Phase 2 project)
Project initiation: Oct 2020

Reproduced with permission from Jeremy Bruhl (CC BY-NC-SA)


Project collaborators:

  • Jeremy Bruhl | University of New England
  • Rose Andrew | University of New England
  • Ashley Jones | Australian National University
  • Ben Schwessinger | Australian National University
  • Justin Borevitz | Australian National University
  • Sangay Dema | University of New England
  • Ian Telford | University of New England
  • Nick Sadgrove | Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


Project description:

Phebalium is a genus of the orange family (Rutaceae) currently with about 25 named species, all native to Australia. Most species of Phebalium are shrubs of considerable horticultural value. Phebalium stellatum is one of a few species that forms a tree to c. 7 m tall and make a gorgeous massed display of star-shaped lemon-yellow flowers. A current PhD project is testing species limits in genus.

A reference genome will provide a stronger basis for these current and potential population genetics and taxonomic studies, with many species still to be taxonomically resolved including many suspected narrowly endemic species of conservation significance. Trait analysis against a reference genome would be powerful for evolutionary studies, allow better exploration of the group’s phytochemistry, and assist horticultural development in the genus.