Dr Caitlin Byrt

Caitlin Byrt
Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Faculty of Sciences

My expertise is in the area of plant biology, particularly as it relates to membrane transport and cell wall biology. The main focus of my research is identifying traits that influence cereal crop productivity. For example, I am part of a team that identified a gene in a wild wheat which contributes to salinity tolerance. Using this information we were able to improve the salinity tolerance of modern durum wheat resulting in increased grain yields on saline soil. I am also interested in plant water channels that function like pores in cell membranes that can be opened and closed to control the flow of solutes throughout the plant. We have discovered that some water channels can transport salt and we are using this information to figure out how salt and drought tolerant plants control this mechanism to help them maintain growth in challenging environmental conditions.

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Dr Caitlin Byrt

My expertise is in the area of plant biology, particularly as it relates to membrane transport and cell wall biology. The main focus of my research is identifying traits that influence cereal crop productivity. For example, I am part of a team that identified a gene in a wild wheat which contributes to salinity tolerance. Using this information we were able to improve the salinity tolerance of modern durum wheat resulting in increased grain yields on saline soil. I am also interested in plant water channels that function like pores in cell membranes that can be opened and closed to control the flow of solutes throughout the plant. We have discovered that some water channels can transport salt and we are using this information to figure out how salt and drought tolerant plants control this mechanism to help them maintain growth in challenging environmental conditions.

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2015 Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow The University of Adelaide
2014 - 2015 Postdoctoral Researcher ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
2011 - 2014 Postdoctoral Researcher ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls
2008 - 2011 Postdoctoral Researcher Plant Science Group, University of Newcastle

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Amount
2017 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Grains Research and Development Corporation Winner
2016 ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Grains Research and Development Corporation Inaugural Rana Munns Award
2016 University of Adelaide Faculty of Sciences Early Career Researcher 2017 International Conference Travel Award
2016 Waite In The Spotlight 2016 https://youtu.be/SNK4UjHE1Vc Waite Research Institute
2015 2015 Australian Institute of Policy and Science South Australian Young Tall Poppy Award
2015 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2015
2014 University of Adelaide 2014 Edith Dornwell Medal for Early-Career Research Excellence
2011 Journal of Integrative Plant Biology Best Expert Review Article Award
2008 Invited interview for the educational documentary Seed Hunter
2007 CSIRO Plant Industry Chief's Award for Excellence in Team Research CSIRO

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2005 - 2008 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD
2000 - 2004 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons)

Journals

Date Citation
2017 Jaime-Pérez,N, Pineda,B, García-Sogo,B, Atares,A, Athman,A, Byrt,C, Olías,R, Asins,M, Gilliham,M, Moreno,V et al, 2017, The sodium transporter encoded by the HKT1;2 gene modulates sodium/potassium homeostasis in tomato shoots under salinity, Plant, cell & environment, Online, 5, 1-14 10.1111/pce.12883
2016 Corbin,K, Betts,N, van Holst,N, Jiranek,V, Chambers,D, Byrt,C, Fincher,G, Burton,R, 2016, Low-input fermentations of agave tequilana leaf juice generate high returns on ethanol yields, BioEnergy Research, 9, 4, 1142-1154 10.1007/s12155-016-9755-x
2016 Byrt,C, Betts,N, Tan,H, Lim,W, Ermawar,R, Nguyen,H, Shirley,N, Lahnstein,J, Corbin,K, Fincher,G et al, 2016, Prospecting for energy-rich renewable raw materials : Sorghum stem case study, PLoS One, 11, 5, e0156638-1-e0156638-20 10.1371/journal.pone.0156638
2016 McGaughey,S, Osborn,H, Chen,L, Pegler,J, Tyerman,S, Furbank,R, Byrt,C, Grof,C, 2016, Roles of aquaporins in Setaria viridis stem development and sugar storage, Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, DECEMBER2016, 1815-1-1815-13 10.3389/fpls.2016.01815
2016 Byrt,C, Zhao,M, Kourghi,M, Bose,J, Henderson,S, Qiu,J, Gilliham,M, Schultz,C, Schwarz,M, Ramesh,S et al, 2016, Non-selective cation channel activity of aquaporin AtPIP2;1 regulated by Ca2+ and pH, Plant Cell and Environment, 40, 6, - 10.1111/pce.12832
2016 Li,B, Byrt,C, Qiu,J, Baumann,U, Hrmova,M, Evrard,A, Johnson,A, Birnbaum,K, Mayo,G, Jha,D et al, 2016, Identification of a stelar-localized transport protein that facilitates root-to-shoot transfer of chloride in arabidopsis, Plant Physiology, 170, 2, 1014-1029 10.1104/pp.15.01163
2015 Ermawar,R, Collins,H, Byrt,C, Betts,N, Henderson,M, Shirley,N, Schwerdt,J, Lahnstein,J, Fincher,G, Burton,R et al, 2015, Distribution, structure and biosynthetic gene families of (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan in Sorghum bicolor, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 57, 4, 429-445 10.1111/jipb.12338
2015 Ermawar,R, Collins,H, Byrt,C, Henderson,M, O'Donovan,L, Shirley,N, Schwerdt,J, Lahnstein,J, Fincher,G, Burton,R et al, 2015, Genetics and physiology of cell wall polysaccharides in the model C₄ grass, Setaria viridis spp, BMC Plant Biology, 15, 1, 236-1-236-18 10.1186/s12870-015-0624-0
2015 Corbin,K, Byrt,C, Bauer,S, DeBolt,S, Chambers,D, Holtum,J, Karem,G, Henderson,M, Lahnstein,J, Beahan,C et al, 2015, Prospecting for energy-rich renewable raw materials: agave leaf case study, PLoS One, 10, 8, e0135382-1-e0135382-23 10.1371/journal.pone.0135382
2015 Corbin,K, Hsieh,Y, Betts,N, Byrt,C, Henderson,M, Stork,J, DeBolt,S, Fincher,G, Burton,R, 2015, Grape marc as a source of carbohydrates for bioethanol: chemical composition, pre-treatment and saccharification, Bioresource Technology, 193, 76-83 10.1016/j.biortech.2015.06.030
2014 Byrt,C, Xu,B, Krishnan,M, Lightfoot,D, Athman,A, Jacobs,A, Watson-Haigh,N, Plett,D, Munns,R, Tester,M et al, 2014, The Na⁺ transporter, TaHKT1;5-D, limits shoot Na⁺ accumulation in bread wheat, The Plant Journal, 80, 3, 516-526 10.1111/tpj.12651
2013 Martin,A, Palmer,W, Byrt,C, Furbank,R, Grof,C, 2013, A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor, Biotechnology for Biofuels, 6, 1, 1-13 10.1186/1754-6834-6-186
2013 Milne,R, Byrt,C, Patrick,J, Grof,C, 2013, Are sucrose transporter expression profiles linked with patterns of biomass partitioning in Sorghum phenotypes?, Frontiers in Plant Science, 4, JUN, 1-12 10.3389/fpls.2013.00223
2012 Munns,R, James,R, Xu,B, Athman,A, Conn,S, Jordans,C, Byrt,C, Hare,R, Tyerman,S, Tester,M et al, 2012, Wheat grain yield on saline soils is improved by an ancestral Na+ transporter gene, Nature Biotechnology, 30, 4, 360-364 10.1038/nbt.2120
2012 Byrt,C, Cahyanegara,R, Grof,C, 2012, Plant carbohydrate binding module enhances activity of hybrid microbial cellulase enzyme, Frontiers in Plant Science, 3, 254, 1-8 10.3389/fpls.2012.00254
2011 James,RA, Blake,C, Byrt,CS, Munns,R, 2011, Major genes for Na⁺ exclusion, Nax1 and Nax2 (wheat HKT1;4 and HKT1;5), decrease Na⁺ accumulation in bread wheat leaves under saline and waterlogged conditions, Journal of Experimental Botany, 62, 8, 2939-2947 10.1093/jxb/err003
2011 Byrt,CS, Grof,CPL, Furbank,RT, 2011, C4 plants as biofuel feedstocks: optimising biomass production and feedstock quality from a lignocellulosic perspective, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 53, 2, 120-135 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01023.x
2009 Kibble,N, Sohani,M, Shirley,N, Byrt,C, Roessner,U, Bacic,A, Schmidt,O, Schultz,C, 2009, Phylogenetic analysis and functional characterisation of strictosidine synthase-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, Functional Plant Biology, 36, 12, 1098-1109 10.1071/FP09104
2008 Byrt,CS, Munns,R, 2008, Living with salinity, New Phytologist, 179, 4, 903-905 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02596.x
2007 Byrt,C, Platten,J, Spielmeyer,W, James,R, Lagudah,E, Dennis,E, Tester,M, Munns,R, 2007, HKT1;5-like cation transporters linked to Na+ exclusion loci in wheat Nax2 and Kna1, Plant Physiology, 143, 4, 1918-1928 10.1104/pp.106.093476

Book Chapters

Date Citation
2017 Martin,A, Brown,C, Nguyen,D, Palmer,W, Furbank,R, Byrt,C, Lambrides,C, Grof,C, 2017, Cell wall development in an elongating internode of Setaria, Springer International Publishing, pp. 211-238 10.1007/978-3-319-45105-3_13
2014 Grof,C, Byrt,C, Patrick,J, 2014, Phloem transport of resources, Wiley, United States, pp. 267-305 10.1002/9781118771280.ch12
2013 Byrt,C, Betts, N,, Farrokhi,N, Burton,R, 2013, Deconstructing plant biomass: cell wall structure and novel manipulation strategies, CABI Publishing, Oxfordshire, pp. 135-150 10.1079/9781845938857.0135

Conference Items

Date Citation
2016 Byrt,CS, Zhao,M, Kourghi,M, Bose,J, Henderson,SW, Qui,J, Gilliham,M, Ramesh,S, Yool,A, Tyerman,S et al, 2016, Charging up water transport with plant aquaporins permeable to ions, Combio2016, Brisbane, Australia

Patents

Date Citation
2010 Byrt,CS, Grof,CPL, Cahyanegara,R; 2010; An enzyme
2008 Byrt,CS, James,RA, Lagudah,ES, Munns,R, Platten,JD, Spielmeyer,W; 2008; Polynucleotides and methods for enhancing salinity tolerance in plants
2006 Byrt,CS, Huang,S, James,RA, Lagudah,ES, Munns,R, Spielmeyer,W; 2006; Salt tolerant plants

Theses

Date Citation
2008 Byrt,CS; 2008; Genes for sodium exclusion in wheat

Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Grains Research Development Corporation Award

ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Grains Research and Development Corporation Inaugural Rana Munns Award 2017

ARC DECRA Fellowship (2015-2018)

Development and delivery of two laboratory practical courses and lectures for Masters in Biotechnology students (2012-2016). Guest Lectures for Biomolecules undergraduate course (University of Newcastle): Applications of plant genetic engineering (2009-2010). Guest lectures for Masters in Plant Biotechnology: Studying salinity tolerance by combining forward and reverse genetics approaches (2007)

PhD Samantha McGaughey (APA Award)

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2016 Adelaide Protein Group
2013 American Society of Plant Biologists
2006 Australian Society of Plant Scientists
Position
Postdoctoral Fellow
Phone
83136652
Campus
Waite
Building
Plant Research Centre
Room Number
1 88
Org Unit
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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