David Kainer



David's PhD research focuses on the use of whole-genome genotype data to accurately predict phenotype from genotype. This is the basis for Genomic Selection, a 21st century breeding technique in agriculture and forestry which enables shortened breeding cycles and more accurate selection of parent individuals. The result is greater gain per unit time than with traditional breeding techniques.

In his PhD david is applying whole genome analysis to improve oil yield in crops of Blue Mallee eucalypts. The terpenes in these oils can be converted to high powered jet fuel, so increasing the yield will help to make this renewable fuel economically sustainable.

David's recent article and radio interview on the use of terpenes as jet-fuel:


https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/per3mnaRkQ?play=true  (from 1hr:35min)



Research interests

  • Genomic Selection
  • Genomic variation in Eucalyptus and forest trees
  • Genetic basis for variation in essential oils
  • Repetitive elements in tree genomes
  • Partitioning of Phylogenomic data



Transcriptome analysis of terpene chemotypes of Melaleuca alternifolia across different tissues.
C Bustos‐Segura, A Padovan, D Kainer, WJ Foley, C Külheim
Plant, Cell & Environment, 2017; 1-20

Assessment of a non-destructive method to predict oil yield in Eucalyptus polybractea (blue mallee)
D Kainer, D Bush, WJ Foley, C Külheim
Industrial Crops and Products 102, 32-44


Plant-derived terpenes: A feedstock for specialty biofuels
Ritesh Mewalal, Durgesh K. Rai, David Kainer, Feng Chen, Carsten Külheim, Gary F. Peter and Gerald A. Tuskan.
Trends in Biotechnology 35 (3), 227-240


Genomic approaches to selection in outcrossing perennials: focus on essential oil crops
David Kainer, Robert Lanfear, William J Foley, Carsten Külheim
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 128 (12), 2351-2365

The effects of partitioning on phylogenetic inference
D Kainer, R Lanfear
Molecular biology and evolution 32 (6), 1611-1627


Selecting optimal partitioning schemes for phylogenomic datasets
R Lanfear, B Calcott, D Kainer, C Mayer, A Stamatakis
BMC evolutionary biology 14 (1), 82

Updated:  18 June 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB