Peter completed his undergraduate degree and subsequent PhD studies at The University of Queensland investigating the role of molybdenum containing enzymes in the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus. He then undertook a postdoctoral position at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Denmark investigating the nutritional basis of the tomato-Cladosporium fulvum interaction. In 2000, he moved to the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens located at Murdoch University in Perth to further investigate fungal-plant interactions using the Stagonospora nodorum-wheat interaction. In 2008, Peter accepted a Lab Leader position in the Research School of Biology at The Australian National University where his research group is focused on wheat biosecurity. Recently, Peter was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to expand his group's interest to cover the devastating wheat pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola.
BIOL3107 Advances in Medical and Plant Biochemistry (Co-convenor) BIOL3106 Biosecurity BIOL3177 Advances in Plant Science PhB ASC Supervision
Fungal diseases of wheat threaten global food security
Stagonospora nodorum is a fungus that causes leaf and glume blotch disease on wheat (septoria nodorum blotch). This disease causes greater than $100 million dollars in yield losses per annum in Australia alone and has been recently ranked as the third most important disease of wheat in this country. Traditional breeding methods for disease controls have only been partially successful at best and new and innovative anti-fungal strategies are required to prevent disease and secure Australian and global wheat supplies in the future.
Total losses ($M AUD)
septoria nodorum blotch
Total losses from others
Total present loss
Not only is S. nodorum a threat to global food security, its also extremely interesting and versatile to work with! S. nodorum can be cultured in the lab and is amenable to many common genetic techniques such as targeted gene disruption and gene overexpression. The genome sequence has been completed and extensive proteomics and metabolomics resources have been developed making S. nodorum a perfect model pathogen to better understand plant-pathogen interactions.
Asexual Sporulation in Stagonospora nodorum
To understand the molecular mechanisms of asexual sporulation in the pathogen Stagonospora nodorum Show more detail...
PhD and Honours students should note that as many of the projects in the Solomon lab are focussed solving problems within the Australian wheat industries, substantial scholarship top-ups are possible through the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
Every year, the Solomon lab takes the opportunity to visit the nearby snowfields. Here are some photos from this year's trip ... thanks to our champion snowboarder (and skier!) Mirka for the photos!
2012 Wagga wagga field trip
In October, we were kindly hosted by Dr. Andrew Milgate and Mr. Kurt Lindbeck (NSW DPI) on a tour of various infected wheat, barley and canola trials at Wagga wagga. This was a fantastic opportunity to have a look at the diseases in the field that we normally only see under a microscope!
2012 Kioloa Plant-Microbe Interactions Retreat
In December 2012, the labs within the Plant-Microbe Interactions discipline held a retreat at the ANU coastal campus ay Kioloa. This provided a great opportunity to not only engage with like-minded scientists to discuss our research, but also interact socially. Below is a photo of the lab taken on the beach near the conference facilities ...
Lab awards and achievements
Melanie Wagner, won the APPS Poster Prize at the 2012 COMBIO conference in Adelaide
Lauren Du Fall, won the Hiroto Naora Award for Student Academic Achievement in Plant Sciences, 2011
Solomon, P.S. (2012) Understanding the production risks from necrotrophic fungi. Grains Research and Development Corporation. $180,000
Solomon, P.S. (2012) Functional characterisation of the necrotrophic effector proteins Tox1 and Tox3 from the wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum. ARC Discovery $350,000.
Solomon, P.S. (2011) The identification of Mycosphaerella graminicola effectors that promote pathogenicity on wheat. ARC Future Fellowship $803,186.
Solomon, P.S. (2011) Australian Necrotrophic Fungal Programme. Grains Research and Development Corporation. $500,000 AUD.
Solomon, P.S., Bringans, S. & Lipscombe, R.J. (2011) The development of mass spectrometry techniques for mapping post-translational modification in the wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum. ARC Linkage $90,666.
Solomon, P.S, Rathjen, J.P., Hardham, A., Jones, D. & Mathesius, U. (2010) An AKTA Avant protein purification system to unravel plant disease. ANU Major Equipment Committee Grant $80,000 AUD.
AR Hardham, A.R., Kirk, K., Broer, S., Von Caemmerer, S., Mathesius, U., Solomon, P.S., Masle, J., Saliba, K.J., Pogson, B.J., Parish, C.R., Atkin, O.K., Mahalingam, S., Ball, M.C., Tremethick, D.J., Rolph, M., Djordjevic, M.A., Hill, C.E. (2010) Multiphoton confocal microscope. ARC LIEF $600,000 AUD.
Oliver, R.P. & Solomon, P.S. (2009) Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens: Fungal Pathogenicity; Continuation. Grains Research and Development Corporation $473,754 AUD.
Solomon, P.S., Oliver, R.P. and Lipscombe, R.J. (2008) Investigating a new paradigm for plant-pathogen interactions; Identification of host-selective toxin proteins in the wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum. ARC Discovery $235,000 AUD.
Solomon, P.S., Oliver, R.P. and Lipscombe, R.J. (2008) Proteome mapping of the model fungal plant pathogen Stagonospora nodorum using LC-LC-MS/MS. ARC Linkage $78,000 AUD.