Research

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Flowering Time

Plants organize themselves to reproduce in the most effective manner. For many plants this means being able to adjust when they flower, in response to environmental conditions.

We are interested in the physiological features and the molecular and genetic pathways that underlie this ability.

We’re also interested in how plants co-ordinate flowering with other decisions about how to grow and to balance their use of energy and water.

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Pulse Crop Phenology

In many crop species there is wide variation in the timing of plant reproduction and its sensitivity to environmental factors.

This variation is critical in the breeding of different varieties to suit different climatic regions, production cycles and management practices.

We are working to better understand the nature of this variation in legume crops, and how it can be used to assist their improvement.

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Pea Genetics

The humble garden pea has been an object of scientific interest since the time of the famous Gregor Mendel, and a feature of plant biology research at UTas for several decades. 

 

While times do change, it is still a significant focus for us today.

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Domestication

How human societies first began the conscious and concerted cultivation of plants for food is still largely shrouded in mystery.

We’re working to define some of the key genetic changes that have occurred in legume crops during domestication.  

Through this, we hope to learn more about when these crops were domesticated, how they spread, and how their wild ancestors can be more efficiently used in breeding.

Image by Dominik Scythe

Comparative Legume Biology

As genomes are sequenced and genetic techniques improve, it’s becoming increasingly feasible to examine similarities and differences between species. We are using this approach to compare several different legume crops.

Our aim is to understand how certain features of their growth and development have evolved, and may be characteristically different from other plant groups.

 

Ultimately, this should help us translate practical knowledge more easily from one species to another.