Djordjevic Group - Root architecture, root nodule formation, nitrogen fixation, regulatory peptides, plant development, Rhizobium

Group description

Sustainable food security is of utmost importance to the future of the planet. The root systems of plants play vital roles in the overall fitness and productivity of plants. The architecture of the root system is greatly influenced by nutrient availability and the environmental conditions they line in. Environmental conditions also influence the ability of certain plants (predominantly legumes) to engage in an agriculturally-important symbiosis with nitrogen fixing bacteria called rhizobia.  Rhizobia invade the root tissues and this results in the production of new organs, root nodules, which are capable of fixing substantial quantities of nitrogen which ultimately becomes bio-available in an ecologically-sustainable manner. Understanding the complex regulatory networks controlling root architecture and root nodule formation has the potential to address major issues threatening agricultural and ecological sustainability and human health. 

Recent work from our lab has identified new classes of secreted regulatory peptides which have hormone-like properties. The genes encoding these peptides are regulated by environmental stimuli and control important aspect of root and shoot growth and architecture as well as enhance root nodule formation in pasture legumes. Our main focus is to investigate how these peptides act in the model species Arabidopsis, Medicago and Brachypodium. We are also interested in how our work can be translated into crop species and their relatives, such as soybean, canola, rice and wheat, with a view to improving crop architecture and the ability of crops to react to stresses in more favourable ways

PhD Students

Senior Technical Officer

Honorary Group Leader

Postdoctoral Fellows

Honours Students

Visiting Fellow

Divisional Visitor

Special Project Students

Technical Officer

Filter by keyword

Selected publications

  • Delay C, Imin N, Djordjevic MA. (2013). CEP genes regulate root and shoot development in response to environmental cues and are specific to seed plants. J Experimental Botany 64: 5383-5394.
  • Imin N, Mohd-Radzman NA, Ogilvie HA, Djordjevic MA (2013). The peptide encoding gene CEP1 modulates lateral root and nodule numbers in Medicago truncatula.  J Experimental Botany 64: 5395-5409.
  • Bobay BG, diGennaro P, Scholl E, Imin N, Djordjevic MA, Bird, DM (2013) Solution NMR studies of the plant peptide hormone CEP inform function. FEBS Letters 587: 3979-3985.
  • Saur I, Oakes M, Djordjevic MA, Imin N (2011). Crosstalk between the nodulation signaling pathway and the autoregulation of nodulation in Medicago truncatula. New Phytologist. 190: 865-874.
  • James G.O., Hocart CH, Hillier W., Chen, H., Kordbacheh F., Price D and Djordjevic MA. (2010) Fatty Acid Profiling of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under Nitrogen Deprivation. Bioresearch Biotechnology. 102: 3343-3351
  • Hueber SD, Weiller GF, Djordjevic MA, Frickey T. (2010). Improving Hox Protein Classification across the Major Model Organisms. PLOS ONE 5: e10820
  • Buer CS, Djordjevic MA. (2009) Architectural phenotypes in the transparent testa mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana. J Experimental Botany 60 : 751-763.
  • Miyahara A, Hirani TA, Oakes M Kereszt A, Kobe B, Djordjevic M A., Gresshoff PM. (2008) Soybean nodule autoregulation receptor kinase phosphorylates two kinase-associated protein phosphatases in vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry: 283: 25381-253
  • Djordjevic M.A., Oakes M.., Hocart C., Li, D. and Gresshoff, P.M. (2007). Analysis of secreted proteins present in Glycine max xylem sap. Journal of Proteome Research. 6: 3771-3779. 
  • Buer CS, Muday GK and Djordjevic M.A. (2007). Flavonoids are differentially taken up, converted to downstream products, and transported long distances in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology. 145 : 478-490. 
  • Djordjevic M.A., Chen H-C, Natera, SHA, van Noorden G., Menzel, C, Taylor, S., Geiger O, Weiller, G. (2003). A global analysis of protein expression profiles in Sinorhizobium meliloti: Discovery of new genes for nodule occupancy and stress adaptation. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions.16: 508-524. 
  • Mathesius U, Schlaman HRM, Spaink HP, Sautter C, Rolfe BG and Djordjevic MA (1998) Auxin transport inhibition precedes nodule initiation in white clover roots and is regulated by flavonoids and derivatives of chitin oligosaccharides. Plant Journal. 14: 23-34 

All publications

PS Seminar Series - Signals and PerCEPtion: the role of C-Terminally Encoded Peptide 7 (CEP7) in symbiosis

Event | Fri 23 July 2021
The rhizobium-legume symbiosis that occurs within root nodules provides a crucial way for legumes to acquire nitrogen under nitrogen limited conditions.

PS Webinar Series: PhD Exit Webinar - CEP-CEPR1 signalling controls root system architecture in Arabidopsis

Event | Fri 7 August 2020
C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDES (CEPs) interact with the CEPR1 receptor to control nitrate uptake and primary root growth, however the role of CEP-CEPR1 signalling in controlling overall root system architecture is unknown.

PS Webinar Series: PhD Exit Webinar - Beyond the root system: Defining a role for the peptide hormone receptor CEPR1 in the control of seed size and yield

Event | Fri 31 July 2020
The interaction of C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDES (CEPs) with CEP RECEPTOR1 (CEPR1) controls root growth and development, as well as nitrate uptake, but has no known role in determining yield.

PS Webinar Series: PhD Exit Webinar - A new method to visualize CEP peptide-CEP receptor interactions in vascular tissue in vivo

Event | Fri 19 June 2020
The interactions of peptide ligands with leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) coordinate multiple plant biochemical pathways. Thus, there is a need for a simple method that identifies and validates peptide hormone-receptor pairings in vivo without disturbing native receptor complexes.

Nodulation in legumes

Story | Thursday 13 April 2017
Legumes are an interesting plant to study due to their symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria called Rhizobia, which are housed within specialised root structures called nodules. The work of ANU researchers has been very important for our understanding of symbiosis, nodule formation and nitrogen fixation.

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

ARC grant success

Story | Thursday 3 November 2011