Borevitz Group - Plant genomics for climate adaption

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.

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Selected publications

  • Grabowski PP, Morris GP, Casler MD, Borevitz JO. Population genomic variation reveals roles of history, adaptation and ploidy in switchgrass. Mol Ecol. 2014 Jun  (online)

    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)

    Xu Zhang, Ron Hauss, Justin Borevitz. Natural Genetic Variation for Growth and Development Revealed by High-Throughput Phenotyping in Arabidopsis thaliana (G3 genetics Jan 2012) (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)

    Li Y, Huang Y, Bergelson J, Nordborg M, Borevitz JO. Association Mapping of Local Climate Sensitive QTL in Arabidopsis thaliana. PNAS, Nov 15, 2010. (Online)

     

 

All publications

 

Tim Brown - the new Director of the ANU APPF node

Story | Thursday 13 July 2017

Gene find deepens natural selection puzzle

Story | Thursday 2 June 2016

Self-organised Complexity of Shape symposium

Story | Monday 18 April 2016
The Self-Organised Complexity of Shape Symposium on April 6 drew participants from across the ANU as well as other Australian universities 

International network to spy on trees

Story | Tuesday 12 April 2016

Going genomic - Using science to improve food security

Story | Wednesday 1 July 2015
The rapid advances in genomic sequencing have important implications for policymakers, write Justin Borevitz and John Rivers. This article was originally published on the APPS Policy Forum.

United Nations urged to ensure open plant genomes

Story | Monday 27 April 2015
Norman Wathmann has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production.

Academic promotions: Level E Professor

Story | Monday 2 February 2015
Congratulations to the six RSB members who have been promoted to Level E Professor as of 1 January 2015.

ARC Discovery projects and DECRA fellowships

Story | Monday 17 November 2014

Three new ARC Centres of Excellence

Story | Thursday 19 December 2013

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