We study the population genetics process of adaptation in natural plant populations, using state of the art techniques in a handful of model organisms. We ask questions such as, how are populations shaped by their local environment? What traits are under selection? What are the genetic loci underlying these traits? Are alleles at these loci filtered by environmental gradients on the landscape over and above background genomic differentiation? Ultimately alleles at adaptive loci in foundation species may have an extended phenotype and determine ecosystem properties and services?
High throughput genome sequencing allows us to use Genome Wide Association Studies to determine the causative alleles and fine patterns population structure associated with adaptive trait variation. It also allows Landscape Genomic studies to determine the spatial and temporal variation of alleles at adaptive and neutral loci across environmental gradients.
Another critical tool is high resolution phenotyping by insitu imaging. These Phenomic studies are being performed on mapping populations in climate chambers to quantify growth (photosynthesis), development (photomorphogenesis), and reproduction (fitness) in real time throughout the growing season.
The Borevitz lab studies the genetic basis of adaptation in natural plant populations, spanning model organisms, foundation species and emerging crops. We develop and use Genomic and Phenomic tools for association studies in controlled climate chambers and on the landscape. Population genomics is used to map adaptive alleles and genetic structure. Phenomics is used to capture growth, development, and yield traits throughout the growing season. These studies connect genotype to phenotype and environment with the aim to better manage lands and regenerate life supporting services. Live and work in Canberra!
The Borevitz lab plays a key role in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB), a cutting edge research centre focused on better understanding the way in which plants interconvert forms of chemical energy in response to environmental change. PEB’s vision is to enhance plant energy efficiency by simultaneously optimising energy capture, conversion and use in changing environments to improve the sustainable productivity of plants.
ARC DECRA Fellows
Honorary Associate Professor
Special Project Students
W Buss, K Yeates, E Rohling, J Borevitz Enhancing natural cycles in agro-ecosystems to boost plant carbon capture and soil storage Preprints 2020
KD Murray, JK Janes, A Jones, HM Bothwell, RL Andrew, JO Borevitz Landscape drivers of genomic diversity and divergence in woodland Eucalyptus Molecular ecology 28 (24), 5232-5247
ST Namin, M Esmaeilzadeh, M Najafi, TB Brown, JO Borevitz Deep phenotyping: deep learning for temporal phenotype/genotype classification Plant methods 14 (1), 66
MA Supple, JG Bragg, LM Broadhurst, AB Nicotra, M Byrne, RL Andrew, Widdup A, Aitken N, JO Borevitz Landscape genomic prediction for restoration of a Eucalyptus foundation species under climate change eLife 7, e31835
Brown TB, Cheng R, Sirault XR, Rungrat T, Murray KD, Trtilek M, Furbank RT, Badger M, Pogson BJ, Borevitz JO. TraitCapture: genomic and environment modelling of plant phenomic data. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2014 Apr (online)
Li Y, Cheng R, Spokas KA, Palmer AA, Borevitz JO. Genetic Variation for Life History Sensitivity to Seasonal Warming in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics. Feb 2014 (online)
Benjamin Brachi, Geoff Morris, Justin Borevitz. Genome Wide Association Studies in Plants: The missing heritability is in the field. Genome Biology, Oct 28, 2011. (online)
PS Webinar Series: Technological convergence for Planetary Health - Precision Landscape Regeneration
PS Seminar Series (LEAPS Edition): Precision Regenerative Agriculture for Food, Ecosystem and Climate Security
Abstract - Global trends project a convergence of crisis in the next decades as demand for land exceeds planetary biocapa
Abstract - The origin of land plants (embryophytes) was one of the most important evolutionary events in the earth’s hist
PS Seminar Series (LEAPS Seminar) - ANU Plant Phenomics at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility - Open source tools for high throughput Phenomics, NextGen data visualization and Deep Learning
Abstract - Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] is a globally important staple food crop, especially for sub-
PS Seminar Series - Harvesting Insights: Phenomics and IoT at Production Scale for Indoor Vertical Farming
Abstract - AeroFarms® operates the world’s largest indoor vertical farm just outside of New York City in Newark, New Jers