This document describes the biology of Ananas comosus var. comosus (pineapple), with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated A. comosus var. comosus (A. comosus), general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) A. comosus that may be released into the Australian environment.
In this document, pineapple is used to refer to A. comosus and its cultivars, and to hybrids of A. comosus with other varieties.
A. comosus is a tropical, herbaceous, perennial monocot, approximately 1-2 metres tall and wide, with leaves arranged spirally. It bears flowers on a terminal inflorescence, which form a large, edible fruit characterised by a tuft of leaves at its apex. Pineapple is the third most important tropical fruit in world production after bananas and citrus. Pineapple is an introduced crop in Australia and is cultivated almost exclusively in the State of Queensland (Bartholomew et al. 2003).