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ARC Funding for Waite researchers

The following researchers at the Waite will share in funding announced last week under the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) National Competitive Grants Programme. Congratulations to all involved!

Discovery Projects

Professor Vincent Bulone (University of Adelaide & ARC CoE in Plant Cell Walls); Dr Tara Pukala (University of Adelaide)
$546,441 over three years
This project aims to understand the mechanisms that control cell wall stability in the fish pathogen, Saprolegnia parasitica. The biochemical properties and function of vital enzymes involved in cell wall biosynthesis will be determined using innovative approaches at the interface of biochemistry, microbiology, cell biology, and structural biology. Next generation ion mobility mass spectrometry will be used to solve challenging structural questions that cannot be tackled with conventional techniques. Expected outcomes include new knowledge on challenging membrane proteins that allows development of novel strategies for disease control in aquaculture. The data may also be applicable to crop protection from related plant pathogens.

Associate Professor Matthew Tucker (University of Adelaide); Professor Dr Thomas Laux
$520,496 over three years
This project aims to investigate the mechanistic basis for female germline formation in two plant species including barley, which is of agricultural relevance to Australia. This project’s approach will integrate novel regulatory genes and data from Arabidopsis and barley. This knowledge will provide significant benefits, such as novel reproductive strategies for crop improvement.

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

Dr Haipei Liu (University of Adelaide)
$365,058 over three years
The project aims to determine the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that control cereal grain quality and yield under water-deficit and heat stress. The project will use next-generation sequencing to identify key epigenetic regulators and their functional target genes, which confer superior grain quality to elite genotypes under adverse environments. Project outcomes will benefit cereal breeding by providing more-tailored screening strategies and superior parental germplasm with enhanced quality and yield. The development of nutritionally improved crops will benefit the Australian cereal industry and export opportunities.

ARC research grants are extremely competitive. This years round comprised funding totalling $333.5 million across some 859 projects under the following schemes: Discovery; Discovery Indigenous; DECRA; Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects; and Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities grants.

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