Aluminium ToleranceBioinformaticsBoron ToleranceChickpea GenomicsDrought ToleranceDrought Forward GeneticsDrought Reverse GeneticsFrost ToleranceGenome AnalysisHybrid wheatIron BiofortificationMetabolomics and ProteomicsNitrogen Use EfficiencyP and Zn Use EfficiencyPlant TransformationSalinity ToleranceStructural BiologyPublications
In Australia and other cereal growing regions with a Mediterranean climate, frost events at flowering can cause sterility, leading to extreme yield reductions, as well as damaged seeds. In Victoria and South Australia alone, frost causes annual losses in wheat and barley productivity of around $95.8m and $33.6m, respectively. Severe winter temperatures experienced in some northern hemisphere regions can also kill plants at the hardier vegetative stage. Periods of cold but non-freezing temperatures can also reduce fertility.
The Waite barley breeding group identified regions of the 2H and 5H barley chromosomes determining varietal differences in frost tolerance. Fine-mapping and cloning of the underlying genes is being aided by the conservation in gene content and order between barley and the sequenced rice genome. A state-of-the-art frost simulation chamber housed in the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) on campus enables evaluation of frost tolerance levels. Yeast 1-hybrid screens and expression analyses are being employed to identify transcription factors controlling cold and frost responses. Genes are being functionally evaluated using barley and wheat transformation.
Current research activities
Prospective students can read about ACPFG Frost Tolerance projects here