The Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research (CILR) is an internationally-renowned research network of plant scientists conducting high quality, cutting-edge research into legumes and other plant species.
The Centre has developed a novel conceptual framework of plant development that provides a platform for paradigm-shifting discoveries. Professor Peter Gresshoff is the Centre's Director.
We selected legumes (17,000 species are known - ranging from herbaceous, weeds, grain crops to large forest trees) as a focus because of their wide role in human and environmental well-being, their special ability to enter a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with soil bacteria, and their broad scientific database in phytochemistry, genetics, genomics and physiology.
Our scientists aim to understand how plant cells communicate, grow and differentiate to attain specific physiological functions. Cutting-edge research into plant physiology, genetics, molecular and cell biology is providing fundamental insights into developing enhanced food production, agricultural sustainability, environmental quality and products for human health.
The original Centre was established in 2003 by a major grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC), combining researchers at the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Newcastle. Substantial advances were attained (see Annual Reports). By the end of 2010, ARC central funding ceased, but ARC permitted the continuation of the Centre within the Queensland node. Current funding is from competitive grants, UQ support and industrial partnerships as well as donations.