By using radioactive carbon, the researchers found that glucose moves from the myoporum host plant to the quandong trees, no doubt benefitting the quandongs, even though these can photosynthesise in their own right.
Quandong growers in New South Wales also say that fruit grown near white cedars, also a native species, sustain less insect damage, particularly from quandong moth.
They ran a series of experiments investigating the transfer of compounds from two host species, white cedar (Melia azaderach) and creeping boobialla (Myoporum parviflorum), to quandongs.
Loveys says further research is needed before the toxic compounds could be recommended as host-acquired organic insecticides in quandongs.
In addition, Table 1 gives a value for whole quandong which combines the values for fruit and kernel by assuming 70% of the weight to be fruit, 20% kernel and 10% the shell of the kernel (discarded).
Except for quandong kernels, those sources were not sufficiently rich in energy or protein to act as satisfactory sole staples and both energy and protein intakes from them became increasingly inadequate.
Quandong kernel is rich in both protein and fat but it is not clear that the kernel, although listed as a food by Brand Miller et al (1993), was actually eaten.