The results of the lastest Australian Research Council Discovery Project round were announced yesterday by Science and Research Minister Senator Chris Evans and it was good news for Waite researchers Matt Gilliham, Vlad Jiranek, Mike Wilkinson and colleagues. The Waite Research Institute would like to congratulate all grant recipients.
Dr Matt Gilliham and his team have been awarded $420,000 over three years to study the molecular basis of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signalling in plants. This work is significant because GABA regulates proteins that release molecules involved in root-soil interactions, growth, and fertilisation. The project’s discoveries will allow improvement of these agronomic traits that ultimately determine crop yield.
Associate Professor Vladimir Jiranek and collegues have been awarded $477,000 over three years to study known and novel signalling molecules that allow communication between yeast cells and impact on wine fermentation dynamics, specifically in a nutrient-depleted environment. The mechanisms by which these molecules exert their effect will be defined using a systems biology approach that integrates many analyses and data sets.
Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Professor Mike Wilkinson and collegues have been awarded $443,000 over three years to study wheat evolution using ancient DNA. The domestication of wild grasses by farmers was a step change in human history; it led to the emergence of modern cereals and with them, western civilisation. This project will apply modern DNA sequencing methods to 5000-year-old cereal seeds to reconstruct the history of wheat, barley and other crops, and identify lost ancient forms and diversity.