Our research is broadly focused on solute and water transport, signaling processes in plants and wine grape physiology. Our specific research aims include:
- To understand how aquaporins are regulated in plants and the signalling that coordinates root and shoot water transport.
- Exploring how GABA signaling controls plant transporters.
- Exploring the selectivity of plant aquaporins.
- Exploring the energy costs of water and anion transport in plants.
- Exploring transport systems for phosphate and their integration with the whole-plant phosphate regulatory system.
- Identification and characterisation of novel transporters involved in biotrophic interactions.
- To understand the molecular and physiological events that underlie cell death in the grape berry (ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production).
- To develop new tools and sensors for viticulture (Vineyard of the Future Initiative).
- To develop mitigation strategies for grape growing in response to warming and heatwaves.
We share lab facilities with A/Prof Matt Gilliham forming the Plant Signalling and Transport group at the University of Adelaide. Together we also form the Adelaide node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. We are also a node of the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production.
Selected Research Highlights
Identification of GABA signalling pathway in plants.
Identification of rapid shoot to root signaling that regulates root water transport via aquaporins (Plant Cell and Environment, Plant Physiology)
Identification of a novel ammonium transporter (PNAS)
First demonstration that cell specific nutrient compartmentation in leaves has a physiological role. Mesophyll specific calcium compartmentation is necessary to regulate cell wall calcium, leaf expansion, stomatal aperture and plant productivity (Plant Cell).
Identification of cell death in the grape berry and its link to berry weight loss (Berry cell death, Weight loss).
We receive research funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australian Grape and Wine Authority (Wine Australia).
Rebecca Vandeleur – Operations and Research Manager (For Adelaide Node of COE PEB, with Matt Gilliham)
Wendy Sullivan – Lab Manager
Jayakumar Bose – Postdoctoral Research Associate
Shifeng Cao – Postdoctoral Research Associate (With Vlad Jiranek, ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production)
Sunita Ramesh – Postdoctoral Research Associate
Chuang Wang – Postdoctoral Research Associate
Muhammad Kamran – PhD Student (With Matt Gillham)
Mohamad Kourghi – PhD student (with Prof Andrea Yool)
Johannes Scharwies – PhD Student (With Sunita Ramesh and Matt Gilliham)
Apriadi Situmorang – PhD Student (With A/Prof Brent Kaiser, University of Sydney)
Jon Wignes – PhD Student (With A/Prof Brent Kaiser, University of Sydney)
Zhengyu Wen – PhD Student (With A/Prof Brent Kaiser, University of Sydney)
Jay Rongala – PhD Student (With Prof Maria Hrmova)
Luciano Caravia – PhD Student (With Dr Cassandra Collins)
Zeyu Xiao – PhD Student (With Dr Victor Sadras, ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production)
Siyang Liao – PhD Student (With Dr Suzy Rogiers, ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production)
Kerry DeGaris – PhD Student (With Dr Rob Walker)
Prof. Maria Hrmova – ACPFG
Prof. Andrea Yool – University of Adelaide, Dept of Physiology
Dr Peter Ryan – CSIRO
Dr Ian Dry – CSIRO
Dr Rob Walker – CSIRO
Dr Laura Davies – CSIRO
Prof. Vlad Jiranek -ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production
Dr Suzy Rogiers -ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
Dr Simon Clarke -ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre
Dr Victor Sadras -ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, South Australian Research and Development Institute
Prof. Huixia Shou – State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
Prof. Jim Whelan – ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, School of Life Science, La Trobe University
Dr Cass Collins – University of Adelaide, Dept of Wine and Food Science