Wahlenbergia ceracea (Waxy bluebell)

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

Reproduced with permission from Jemimah Hamilton

Project collaborators:

  • Jemimah Hamilton | Australian National University
  • Ashley Jones | Australian National University
  • Pieter Arnold | Australian National University
  • Ben Schwessinger | Australian National University
  • Adrienne Nicotra | Australian National University

Project description:

Wahlenbergia ceracea, commonly known as waxy bluebell, is a striking Australian native herbaceous wildflower. Wahlenbergia species flourish throughout the Australian landscape; from the desert W. tumidifructa to the tropical W. caryophylloides to the alpine W. ceracea, adding a burst of colour to a muted terrain.

W. ceracea individuals experience strikingly different environments depending on habitat altitude, without necessarily experiencing reproductive isolation. This has led to plasticity being an evolutionarily favoured trait in W. ceracea. However, the absence of a Wahlenbergia genome has left the genetic basis of this phenomena unexplored.

This project aims to assemble the W. ceracea genome, to investigate the underlying genetic architecture of plasticity in an ever-changing climate.