Professor Mark Tester, is a ARC Federation Fellow (Research Professor), member of the Executive Management Group of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and Chair of the Research Committee in the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, University of Adelaide.
Professor Tester’s research programme aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that enable certain plants to thrive in sub-optimal soil conditions, such as high salinity or low N availability. The applied aim is to modify crop plants to increase their productivity on such soils; and to increase the mineral content of their seeds. The intellectual aim is to understand mechanisms of long-distance communication within plants through the study of genes which lead to appropriate shoot nutrient levels. Coordinated responses by the whole plant to environmental stimuli are essential to allow plants to respond appropriately to changes in their environment, yet our understanding at the molecular and cellular levels of high level coordination processes remains minimal.