Tag Archives: Plant

The 2nd A.R. Hickinbotham Lecture

Understanding how grapevines control their water use.

Date/Time: Monday 9th May, 4pm
Location: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus
Speaker: Professor Brian Loveys, CSIRO Plant Industry & University of Adelaide

Short Speaker Biography

Based in Adelaide, Dr Loveys’ research has focused on describing the role played by plant hormones in the control of the growth and development of woody perennial horticultural crops. He is particularly interested in the involvement of the plant hormone abscisic acid in regulating grapevine water use. Dr Loveys aims to provide the Australian winegrape industry with management tools to improve the efficiency of water use.

Dr Loveys studied plant science at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and joined CSIRO in 1972 after a period of postdoctoral study in the United States of America. Until his retirement from CSIRO in 2010 he was a Chief Research Scientist and is currently continuing his studies as an Honorary Research Fellow.

History

The A.R. Hickinbotham Lecture is named in honour of the former Roseworthy Lecturer who is regarded as the father of Australian oenology (wine-making) education. This Lecture recognises individuals that have had an impact on the wine industry and are world leaders in the field of oenology. Alan Robb Hickinbotham (1898-1959) joined the staff at Roseworthy College in 1929 as a Lecturer in Physical and Chemical Sciences. In 1936, he established the nation’s first wine-making course which evolved into the University of Adelaide’s world-renowned Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology which is now run at the Waite Campus. Alan R. Hickinbotham remained at Roseworthy College until 1948. His research and writing on wine-making under Australian conditions laid the foundation for a technically advanced Australian wine industry. The Hickinbotham family continued their father’s passion for wine through their ongoing interests in viticulture and wine production. The National Wine Centre has recognised the Hickinbotham family by naming its major function hall after the family while the Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory was established at the University’s Waite Campus in 1998 with the family’s support.

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr Loveys or would like more information, please contact Matthew Gilliham.

ACPFG Promotes: Peter Langridge on Radio National ‘Australia Talks’ TONIGHT 6pm.

Australia Talks Interview: Food Security

Food prices have hit an all-time high this year, according to the United Nations. In fact anger over sharp hikes in the price of food staples helped spark the bloody riots in the Middle East this year, as well as protests in India. So are we at the verge of a new food crisis? And could that have implications for global stability?

You will find a brief blurb about the interview on the Australia Talks website at:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/australiatalks/stories/2011/3172871.htm

The show airs at 6pm.

The telephone number if you wish to be a caller on the show is 1300 22 55 76.

The show airs on:

Adelaide 729AM | Brisbane 792AM | Canberra 846AM Darwin 657AM |
Gold Coast
90.1FM | Hobart 585AM Melbourne 621AM | Newcastle 1512AM
Perth 810AM | Sydney 576AM

Regards,

Amanda Hudswell
Communications Manager – Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Pty Ltd
Skype address : amanda.hudswell1
www.acpfg.com.au

Plant Genomics Centre, Hartley Grove, Urrbrae SA 5064
Postal address : PMB 1, Glen Osmond South Australia 5064
Ph : 08 8303 7230 or : 0400 322 272

The inaugural Peter Waite Lecture – Podcast

Prof Geoff Fincher

Listen to Professor Geoff Fincher’s talk which was given at  the inaugural Peter Waite Lecture on the 21st February, 2011.

Higher plants resist the forces of gravity and powerful lateral forces through the cumulative strength of the walls that surround individual cells. These walls consist mainly of cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin, the proportions of which depend upon specific functions of the cell and its stage of development.Grasses, which include the common cereals, arguably represent the single most important group of plants for human societies worldwide. Foods prepared from cereals not only account for a high proportion of our daily caloric intake, but also contribute to human health through the provision of fibre in our diet. Thus, polysaccharides from the cell walls of cereal grains are becoming recognized for their potential to lower the risk of serious diet-related conditions such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and diverticular disease.

Residues of cereal crops and a broad range of perennial grasses are also showing considerable promise as future biomass energy crops and a number of groups in both the private and public sectors are attempting to manipulate the composition of cell walls to increase levels of extractable, easily degradable and ultimately fermentable wall polysaccharide in various grass species.

Here, the influence of the fine chemical structure of wall polysaccharides on properties such as molecular size, solubility and viscosity will be related to their beneficial effects in human diets, and manipulations of wall composition that might enhance conversion of plant biomass to bioethanol will be discussed.

Short Speaker Biography

Geoff Fincher is the Professor of Plant Science at the University of Adelaide and the Director of the newly established Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls. Geoff is also the leader of a new CSIRO Food Futures Flagship Cluster on ‘High Fibre Grain, for work on the role of wall polysaccharides in human health and nutrition.

Until recently Geoff was Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. He was involved, with other colleagues, in setting up the ACPFG in 2003 and he was chair of the Executive Management Group from 2003-2010. He has also developed collaborative projects between the ACPFG and the DuPont-Pioneer company, and with ABB Grain Ltd.

From 2007-2010, Geoff and Mark Tester, together with colleagues at the ANU and the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry established the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility. As part of this Facility an automated, high throughput phenotyping glasshouse has been constructed on the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide. This component of the APPF is known as the ‘Plant Accelerator’.

Geoff was the Director of the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide from 2003-2010 and has been the Director of a GRDC-funded program on the functional genomics of growth and end-use quality in cereals for seven years. He serves as an editor for the Journal of Cereal Science and is also a long-serving member of the editorial board of Planta. He chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee of Biomime, the Swedish centre for wood functional genomics. For a more detailed CV see here.

History

Named in honour of the pastoralist and benefactor who donated Urrbrae estate to the University of Adelaide for the study of Agriculture, the inaugural Peter Waite Lecture was given by Professor Geoff Fincher of the University of Adelaide to celebrate Geoff’s significant contributions to the Waite Campus and Australian Science.

Patent to be granted for salinity tolerance technology

The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics’ first patent application has been accepted for grant in Eurasia.  The patent covers salinity tolerance in plants and applies in Turkmenistan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and the Moldova regions.

The technology was invented by ACPFG scientists Mark Tester, Andrew Jacobs, Juan Juttner, Alfio Comis and Christina Lunde (now of the University of Copenhagen).

The patent is for a protein that sits in a plant cell’s outer membrane and pumps sodium ions from the cell, thus improving the plants salinity tolerance.

‘The patent demonstrates that ACPFG research is not only world standard from a scientific perspective, but it also passes the difficult requirements for patentability,’ commented CEO, Professor Peter Langridge. ‘Some of our other patent filings will also be granted this year.’

‘Salinity is a problem in many parts of the world and a major cause of crop loss in much of the developing world,’ he said. ‘Eurasia is a major crop growing region and also suffers from salinity problems.’

Patent applications for 30 technologies have been filed by the ACPFG since it commenced in 2003.  Many of these are working their way through the patent systems in various regions.

‘This technology is still many years away from commercial production but this first patent is a significant achievement for ACPFG’ said Michael Gilbert, ACPFG’s General Manager.

ACPFG has over 130 staff and students and has published 240 peer-reviewed journal articles focused on improving the ability of wheat and barley to withstand abiotic stresses such as drought and salinity.

‘Gene patents are currently controversial but they are an important tool in biological sciences,’ Mr Gilbert said. ‘Whilst patents are expensive and difficult to get, they enable us to protect the interests of Australian scientists and growers.’

‘Patents are an asset that we can use to deal with large multi-national companies in the area of agricultural biotechnology,’ he said.

ACPFG retains Philips Ormond Fitzpatrick as patent advisors.

Mark Tester at TEDx Adelaide – Video

The Media from TEDx Adelaide has become available, Professor Mark Tester, Director, The Plant Accelerator, Waite Campus (University of Adelaide) was one of the speakers at the event held in November, 2010. You can watch his talk in full below or at his page on the TEDx website.

The Harold Woolhouse Lecture 2010 – Podcast Avaliable

“Looking back and looking forward: time for fresh thinking on roles of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in plant phosphorus (P) uptake” Listen to Professor Sally Smith’s talk which was given at the Inaugural Harold Woolhouse Lecture on the 8th November, 2010.

This talk will start with some brief reflections on Harold Woolhouse at the Waite. Professor Smith will then 1) review the immediate relevance of studies of phosphorus (P) nutrition of plants, in the light of the low availability of P in soil, the need for P fertiliser application to achieve satisfactory crop yields and the limited global P resources; 2) introduce arbuscular mycorrhizas as the most common and widespread adaptation involved in plant P uptake; 3) provide an update on how recent research has fundamentally changed knowledge of how AM symbioses influence plant P uptake; and 4) present a new hypothesis to explain why some plants (including the important crops wheat, barley and tomato) sometimes grow better when non-mycorrhizal.

Professor Sally Smith

Professor Sally Smith

 

AusBiotech 2010

The WRI and Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) were recently represented on the BioInnovation SA stand at Australia’s national AusBiotech 2010 conference in Melbourne 19 – 22 October.

Chia Barlow, Executive Officer from the WRI and Amanda Hudswell, Communications Manager for ACPFG attended the 4 day annual event which focuses on creating biotechnology solutions for the world.

The 2011 conference will be held in Adelaide SA.

For more information please visit http://www.ausbiotech.org