Mapping the barley genome – good news for farmers

December 9, 2013

Filed under: Research — acpfg @ 1:20 pm

Did you know that ACPFG researchers were part of the international consortium, comprising 22 different institutes, that this year mapped the barley genome? This is really good news, especially if you are a barley farmer because the outcomes of this project could potentially lead to higher yields, improved tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and […]


Nitrogen Use efficiency ARC Linkage Grant

July 3, 2013

Filed under: Research — acpfg @ 11:41 am

ACPFG was successful in securing an Australian Research Council linkage grant in the latest rounds, released this week. The project aims to improve the nitrogen use efficiency of cereal plants, therefore reducing the reliance on fertilisers which in turn causes outbreaks of toxic algal blooms like the ones seen in China this week. The team, […]


Making membrane proteins: curdlan synthase

December 8, 2012

Filed under: Research — Tags: , — acpfg @ 8:43 am

Curdlan is a polysaccharide which is used in Chinese medicine to stimulate the immune system to prevent skin infections. Researchers at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics have managed to make curdlan synthase, the enzyme that synthesises curdlan, in the laboratory. The techniques they used to produce the enzyme should be very useful to […]


Sandra grows glowing plants in Cambridge

September 12, 2012

Filed under: Research — Tags: , — acpfg @ 12:19 pm

PhD student Sandra Schmoekel is just back from growing glowing plants at Cambridge University. She worked in Prof Alex Webb’s laboratory to study the signals that plants use to respond to salt stress. At Cambridge, Sandra grew Arabidopsis plants which had been transformed to produce Aequorin, a protein from luminescent jellyfish which glows blue when […]


Fascination of Plants Day 2012

August 28, 2012

Filed under: Events — Tags: — acpfg @ 3:26 pm

The world celebrated Fascination of Plants Day for the first time in 39 countries on 18 May 2012. The day was organised by the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) to promote the importance of plants and plant science worldwide. Australian events included a tour of the Aboriginal Garden at Monash University, plant experiments in the […]


Cracking a Salty Rice Riddle

July 31, 2012

Filed under: Research — Tags: , , — acpfg @ 3:39 pm

ACPFG research recently published in PLoS One descibes a model explaining how ancestral rice plants survive saline soils. Agricultural lands worldwide are getting saltier, and in Australia this is a particular problem in WA and SA. Associate Professor Maria Hrmova described the impacts of her research on the ABC Rural SA Country Hour (listen to […]


Swamped with saltwater: what a tsunami does to rice farmers

April 16, 2012

Filed under: Opinion — Tags: , — acpfg @ 4:07 pm

By Dr Darren Plett Japan’s tsunami of March 11 2011 brought a wall of water laden with debris up to 5 kilometres inland from the sea. After the surge receded, the surrounding farming area was left covered in debris and a thick, black sludge. This sludge was extremely saline due to the sodium chloride from […]


Pretty wheat protein has biotechnology potential

March 13, 2012

Filed under: Research — Tags: , , , , — acpfg @ 11:08 am

A protein involved in moving lipids into wheat grains graces the cover of the Journal of Experimental Botany this month. Scientists at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) discovered this protein, called TdPR61, while trying to find out how to express genes in the grain of wheat plants. The protein is expressed in […]


Gene Patents

June 8, 2011

Filed under: Opinion — acpfg @ 2:01 pm

Blocking gene patents is being supported by some cancer researchers because they are worried that access to critical information and materials will be stifled.