Plant-microbe interactions

The interactions of plants with microbes both in the soil and above ground shoot are of great importance for the growth and productivity of plants in agricultural and natural ecosystems. At the Research School of Biology, interactions between plants, symbiotic bacteria, fungi, and pathogens are being investigated at levels ranging from the molecule to the ecosystem. 

Academic staff

Project Groups
Australian Mountain Research Facility (AMRF, ARC LIEF project)
Australian native truffle diversity
Bioinformatics and gene discovery in wheat rust pathogens
Bioinformatics Summer Scholarship projects
Cell specific activation of plant hormones
Characterising the Zymospetoria tritici - wheat interaction
Control of meristem differentiation and plant architecture in legumes
Detection of fungal pathogens and their associated microbiome
Dissecting the defence responses activated by tomato receptors able to detect Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici infection
Effector delivery by fungal rust pathogens
Environmental risk assessment of genetically modified Alfalfa mosaic virus resistant white clover (Trifolium repens L.)
Evolution of scald and net form of net blotch
Exploring Australia’s diversity for pathogens of weeds
Factors affecting Perigord truffle production in Australia
Flavonoid functions in nitrogen-fixing symbioses
Functional characterisation of the flax rust fungus AvrP and AvrL2 effector proteins
Fungal effector uptake into plant cells
Fungal genomics, evolution, and host adaptation
Honours projects are now available to study a wide range of topics in biosecurity and pathogenesis
How do effector proteins from necrotrophic fungi cause disease in plants
How do effector proteins from necrotrophic fungi cause disease in wheat
Identification and functional characterisation of flax rust effectors
Identification and functional characterisation of the Fusarium oxysporum Avr7 effector gene.
Identification of signal transduction and accessory protein requirements for resistance responses mediated by the tomato I gene for Fusarium wilt resistance.
Infection of plants by rust fungi
Microbial control of root developmental plasticity
New control methods for plant-parasitic nematodes
Novel metabolite discovery and characterisation
Novel small molecule regulators of animal development
PhD projects are now available to study a wide range of topics in biosecurity and pathogenesis
Phytophthora cell wall degrading enzymes
Phytophthora pathogenicity
Phytophthora zoospore adhesion
Phytophthora zoospore motility
Protein function in plant immunity
Quorum sensing signalling in root symbioses
Rust resistance in Australian Myrtaceae
Speciation in co-evolved taxa: sexually-deceptive orchids and their mycorrhizal symbionts
Studying pathogen proteins that cause disease
The molecular basis for plant susceptibility and immunity to Fusarium wilt disease
Understanding the molecular basis of fungal rust diseases in plants
Understanding the role of peptide hormones in determining root architecture
Use of a tobacco Pathogenesis-related Protein-5 (PR-5) promoter: β glucuronidase (GUS) reporter system to study plant defence activation in response to phytohormones, abiotic stresses and biotic inducers.
Wheat immunity and applied synthetic biology