School of plant biology research Project ideas for Prospective 4th



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Reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships in plants

Selected publications in this area:

George N, Byrne M, Maslin B, and Yan G (2006) Genetic differentiation among morphological variants of

Acacia saligna (Mimosaceae). Tree Genetics and Genomes 2:109-119

Yan G, F Shan, JA Plummer (2002) Genomic Relationships within Boronia (Rutaceae) as Revealed by Karyotype Analysis and RAPD Molecular Markers. Plant Systematics and Evolution 233: 147-161

  1. Any projects related to cytogenetics and molecular cytogenetics of plants

Selected publications in this area:

Shan F, G Yan, and JA Plummer (2003) Cyto-evolution of Boronia genomes revealed by fluorescent in situ

hybridisation with rDNA probes. Genome 46: 507-513

Shepherd KA, G Yan (2003) Chromosome number and size variations in the Australian Salicornioideae (Chenopodiaceae) evidence of polyploidisation. Australian Journal of Botany 51: 441-452

  1. Any project on wide hybridisation and overcoming wide hybridization barriers

Selected publications in this area:

Liu H, Yan G and Sedgley R (2006) Interspecific hybridization in the genus Leucadendron through embryo rescue. South African Journal of Botany 72:416-420

Astarini IA, Yan G and Plummer JA (1999) Interspecific hybridisation in Boronias. Australian Journal of Botany 47: 851-864

  1. Molecular fingerprinting of plants

Selected publications in this area:

Yuan H, Yan G, Siddique KHM and Yang H (2005) RAMP based fingerprinting and assessment of relationships among Australian narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) cultivars. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56:1339-1346

Pharmawati M, Yan G and Finnegan PM (2005) Molecular variation and fingerprinting of Leucadendron

cultivars (Proteaceae) by ISSR markers. Annals of Botany 95: 1163-1170

  1. New endeavors –Genomics, proteomics and fast generation of broad acre crops

Selected publications in this area:

Yang H, Lin R, Renshaw D, Li C, Adhikari K, Thomas G, Buirchell B, Sweetingham M, Yan G (2010) Development of sequence-specific PCR markers associated with a polygenic controlled trait for marker-assisted selection using a modified selective genotyping strategy: a case study on anthracnose disease resistance in white lupin (Lupinus albus L.). Molecular Breeding 25: 239-249

Ma J, Yan GJ, Liu CJ (2011) Development of near-isogenic lines for a major QTL on 3BL conferring

Fusarium crown rot resistance in hexaploid wheat. Euphytica 183:147–152

Shahidul Islam, Wujun Ma, Rudi Appels, Bevan J Buirchell, Junhong Ma, Guijun Yan (2011) Diversity of seed storage protein among the Australian narrow-leafed lupin cultivars (Lupinus angustifolious L.). Crop and Pasture Science 62: 765–775

Zheng Z, Wang HB, Chen GD, Yan GJ and Liu CJ (2013). A procedure allowing up to eight generations of wheat and nine generations of barley per annum. Euphytica 191: 311-316.

OTHER ORGANISATIONS AFFILIATED WITH THE SCHOOL OF PLANT BIOLOGY

BOTANIC GARDENS & PARKS AUTHORITY


KINGS PARK’S 2015 PLANT BIOLOGY HONOURS & MASTERS PROJECT OPTIONS
Kings Park and Botanic Garden is a national leader in conservation biology and restoration ecology research, providing a unique "one-stop-shop" that delivers practical research outcomes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration. The staff comprises >45 research scientists and postgraduate students in the core integrated disciplines of conservation genetics, propagation science, seed science, germplasm storage, restoration ecology and orchid conservation. For further information see: www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/science
Facilities: Equipment, computers, laboratories, office space, expertise and administration are available in the Biodiversity Conservation Centre (BCC) at Kings Park and Botanic Garden.


RESEARCH AREA: “Restoration Ecology and Restoration Ecophysiology”


  1. Optimising seedling establishment in mine site restoration.

The ability of seedlings to establish in restoration sites is dictated by their interaction with abiotic stresses such as drought and soil compaction. This project will use novel approaches to understand Banksia woodland species tolerance to these stresses. Working in collaboration with industry partners outcomes from this project will underpin future restoration processes.

Supervisor: Dr. Jason Stevens (phone: 9480 3639, email: jason.stevens@bgpa.wa.gov.au)


  1. Climate change impacts on biodiverse plant communities

The increasing prevalence of drought in combination with higher temperatures is leading to large shifts in plant community structure in Western Australia’s biodiverse plant communities. New technology now exists that shows (in real time) plant water use in response to these environmental drivers. This will lead to an unprecedented understanding of plant water use and help us to define environmental thresholds for some of our native plants. Opportunities exist to explore climate impacts on intact vegetation communities or in restored ecosystems.

Supervisor: Dr. Jason Stevens (phone: 9480 3639, email: jason.stevens@bgpa.wa.gov.au)


  1. Quantifying plant community attributes for restoration of Banksia woodland in urban bushland fragments

This project will use both historical records, and quantitative analysis of modern vegetation survey data, to assess and select Swan Coastal Plains Banksia Woodland communities as reference targets for ecosystem restoration, as well as to accurately quantify restoration targets (e.g. species richness, community composition, special scales of monitoring) – of sites fragmented through urbanisation, cleared of pine plantations and/or rehabilitated following mining.

Supervisor: Dr Ben Miller (phone: 9480 3631, email: ben.miller@bgpa.wa.gov.au)
For information on other Conservation Biotechnology projects please contact:

Dr. Jason Stevens (phone: 9480 3639, email: jason.stevens@bgpa.wa.gov.au)



RESEARCH AREA: “Rare Plant Biology - Conservation Biotechnology”


  1. Correlating cell membrane composition with tolerance to cryogenic treatments

The aim is to study the factors that determine the ability of various plants to survive cryogenic storage, with a focus on recalcitrant and endangered species of relevance in post-mining rehabilitation. The preservation of cell membrane structure is essential for the survival of tissues subjected to cryogenic storage at very low temperatures. Plant sterols and phospholipids are known to regulate membrane fluidity and permeability and the unsaturated degree of these fatty acids appears to be closely associated with abiotic stress resistance in plants. Free fatty acids, produced during water stress by action of lipases on polar lipids, may be stored in neutral lipids (triacylglycerols) in order to avoid oxidation by free radicals and reactive oxygen species and, hence, their abundance and type may influence post-cryogenic survival. This project will characterise the species-dependent composition of biological membranes, which will help to provide a rationale for observed differences in tissue survival upon thawing, and will be the basis for future molecular modelling and biophysical studies of membrane structure and dynamics.

Supervisors: Dr. Eric Bunn (phone: 9480 3647, email eric.bunn@bgpa.wa.gov.au), Assoc. Prof. Ricardo L. Mancera



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