Plant and Microbial Biotechnology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Environmental Transcriptomics, Algae Biotechnology, Sustainable Biofuel Production
The Plant-Microbe Interactions Group specialises in the discovery of interesting new genes from plants and microbes, including microalgae.
DISEASE RESISTANT PLANTS:
We use a Functional Genomics and Biodiscovery approach to study beneficial and parasitic interactions of plants with microorganisms. Arabidopsis is used as a model plant to study signalling pathways that enable plants to withstand pathogen attack or severe drought. The up- or down-regulation of specific key regulatory genes has led to disease resistance and drought tolerance, and this strategy is used to improve crop species.
MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PLANTS:
We are using molecular profiling tools, such as functional gene microarrays and next generation sequencing, to characterise highly diverse microbial communities that are associated with plants to identify novel compounds for agricultural applications. This environmental transcriptomics (metatranscriptomics) approach captures microbial activity profiles with direct implications for crop cultivation (e.g. soil-borne diseases, greenhouse gas emmissions, yield increase or decline).
BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM ALGAE:
We house a collection of Australian microalgae strains that are highly efficient producers of biodiesel and use a special non-GM breeding technique to further improve their performance. Cutting-edge molecular biology tools are used for metabolic engineering. Microalgae are likely the only renewable source of fuel that could match our current and future demand without competing for arable land and food production. For this reason, we are currently developing a low-cost algae cultivation module for a large-scale biorefinery.
||Science and Technology: Plant Sciences, Science and Technology: Plant Diseases/Pathology, Science and Technology: Plant Genetics, Science and Technology: Microbiology, Science and Technology: Molecular Biology, Science and Technology: Molecular Genetics, Science and Technology: Microbial Processes, Science and Technology: Plant Virology, Science and Technology: Marine Biology, Science and Technology: Biodiscovery, Agricultural: Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural: Crop Science, Agricultural: GM Crops, Agricultural: Aquacultural Engineering, Energy: Biomass Fuels, Energy: Power Plants, Renewable Energy, Energy: Alternative Fuels