Interactive effects ofwaterlogging and salinity on rhizobiaforMelilotus siculus. Melilotussiculus (messina)is a newannualpasture legume thatcan grow in highlysaline and waterloggedsoils. Messina roots forma speciallayercalled ‘phellem’, which is filled with airspaces thatactas a‘snorkel’to allow oxygen transportto roots. However, the role ofphellemin supplyingoxygen towaterlogged nodules is notknown. This projectwilldetermine ifphellemon roots and nodules isimportantto waterloggingand salinitytolerance ofmessina inoculated with rhizobia.
Contacts:TimColmer (firstname.lastname@example.org)AND/OR Ed Barrett-Lennard (CentreforEcohydrology -DAFWA/PlantBiology)(email@example.com)
Room1.029 Agriculture North Building.Ph 6488 1783. Emailmichael.firstname.lastname@example.org Oxidative stress
Oxygen is highlyreactive and toxic – justgoogle “the greatoxidation event”, orbetteryet, search the Naturejournal. Plants played an enormous role in this, and have fargreaterexperience in managingoxygen thananimals.Yetwe stillunderstand relativelylittle abouthowplants manageoxygen duringgermination,development, reproduction and dormancy. These phases involvemassivechanges in cellularoxygen, whichcreates enormouschemicaland physicalstress. We’re usingcutting-edgetechnology– fromNextGeneration Sequencingto clinicalintervention studies – to understand these events in crops as wellas whatitmeans forhuman dietaryhealth.
We have a numberofexcellentopportunities forHonours,MScand PhD students to contribute to excitingresearch, fromagronomythrough to genomics orpharmacology. Oxygen and ROS regulate germination and dormancy
Buddormancyis the mostcriticaland sensitive stage ofmanyeconomicallyand ecologicallyimportanttrees. The bud is a compressed shoot, which houses the leafand fruitprimordia forthe comingspringandsummergrowth.Throughseveralapproaches, fromrespiration to advancemicroscopyand genesequencing,we’reinvestigatinghowthis organmaintainsdormancywith verylittle oxygen, and then manages themassive oxidative stress ofbud burstand regrowth. Much ofthe workis currentlydone with grapevine buds.Additionalresearch is beingconducted with modelplants such as Arabidopsis.
We currentlyhave two PhD students and a visitingresearch associate studyingthis in collaborations with aworld-leadingUKscientist, ProfChristine Foyer, a nationalauthorityon grape and wine, E/ProfJohnConsidine, and DAFWA staffacross the state.
Projectopportunities include field, controlled environment,biochemicalorgenetic studies. Dietary flavonoids, plantbreeding and cardiovascular disease
Whatis the connection? Apples!Apples are rich in flavonoids, which are knownto lowerthe riskofcardiovasculardisease in humans.Ourresearch has shown thatflavonoid-rich apples can improvecardiovascularfunction within 24hrs – even in healthyadults. We’re leadingnationalresearch withDAFWA’s apple breedingprogram, and eminentcolleagues in the SchoolofMedicine and Pharmacologytodevelopways to breed flavonoid-rich apples.
Projectopportunities include breedingand genetic research, molecularand genomic research and evenmarketingand economic policystudies. Sulfur dioxide toxicity and defence-activation
Sulfurdioxide is an enormouslyusefulpreservative in manyfoods (E220-E228).Grape berries have aunique,worldwide exemption to a ban on SO2use in fresh foods. The FAO are likelyto change this infuture,so we need to find saferalternatives. Ourresearch shows thatSO2activates defence mechanisms ingrape berries butalso affects dietaryantioxidants.
Projectopportunities include chemistry,biochemistry,winemakingand molecularbiology. Genomicbasis ofclonalidentity
Whatis a clone? Thatis exactlywhatNext-Generation-Sequencingis aboutto find outin CabernetSauvignon wine grapes.Ournationalproject, with W/ProfRyan Lister(www.listerlab.com), is sequencingseveralunique clones to identifyfunctionaldifferences, and howthese affectwine qualities. This excitingprojecthas manyopportunities forstudents to contribute.
Projectopportunities include ampelography,genomesequencing,metabolomics ortastingstudies.