Associate Professor Christopher Ford
Over the past 10 years we have been working largely in the following area:
- Developing an understanding of organic acid metabolism in plants. Within my laboratory, and in collaboration with Dr John Bruning (School of Biological Sciences) and Assoc. Prof. Kathleen Soole (The Flinders University of South Australia) we are investigating the mechanisms by which developing grape berries metabolise ascorbic, tartaric and malic acids. To achieve this we are using a range of biochemical, molecular and metabolic approaches in whole berries and cell suspension systems.
I have had past reseach engagement with the characterisation of glucosyltransferase enzymes (GTases) involved in plant secondary metabolism. I started working in this area in 1995 when a post-doc with Prof. Peter Hoj; we identified and characterised the anthocyanidin Gtase from grapevines. In 2006, Prof. Gideon Davies at The University of York and his group successfully resolved the three-dimensional structure of this enzyme - the outcome of a huge amount of work over the previous three years. In 2014 I began co-supervising PhD student Lieke van der Hulst (principal supervisor Kerry Wilkinson) on a project to examine GTs associated with the formation of glycosides in grapes affected by smoking.
We have also undertaken research aimed at unravelling the outcomes of extended maceration (EM) in the production of red wines. During red wine production, the period of contact between berry skins and juice, must or wine may be extended beyond the normal periods to provide additional properties to the finished wine. We hope to both understand the processes and be in a position to advise the wine industry on strategies for achieving desired wine outcomes.
Current CMF Lab members:
Jenny Bellon - PhD student (based at AWRI)
Hui Hui Chong - PhD student (based at EJ Gallo Winery, Modesto, CA)
Lieke van der Hulst (co-supervised with Kerry Wilkinson)
Past PhD students: Louise Robinson; Seth DeBolt; Susan Wheeler; Lin Lin Low, Iraj Tavassolian, Venetia Joscelyne, Vicky Harris, Vanessa Melino, Erminawati Wuriatmo, Alana Capaldo, Crystal Sweetman, Crista Burbidge, Cyd Yonker, Martin Mendez, Tony Ogbeide, Amy Koschella, Darren Wong, Yong Jia, Emily Higginson.
Past Honours students: Madeleine Griffith; Belinda Sinclair; Christobelle Anderson; Guy Lyons; Sam Gavan; Sam Hambour; Kelly Wellington, Katie Grieve, Greg Lane, Sid Pachare, Craig Turnbull, Yue Cue.
Past Masters students - Mario Mazza; Jayendra Patel; Chandra Rongala, Steve Hicks.
Past post-docs: Matt Hayes, Crystal Sweetman.
|2016||Drew,D, Andersen,T, Sweetman,C, Møller,B, Ford,C, Simonsen,H, 2016, Two key polymorphisms in a newly discovered allele of the Vitis vinifera TPS24 gene are responsible for the production of the rotundone precursor α-guaiene, Journal of Experimental Botany, 67, 3, 799-808 10.1093/jxb/erv491|
|2016||Higginson,E, Lloyd,N, Kravchuk,O, Ford,C, Thomas,M, 2016, A high-throughput UHPLC MS/MS method for evaluation of tartaric and malic acid concentration in individual grapevine berries, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 22, 1, 16-23 10.1111/ajgw.12170|
|2015||Rinaldo,A, Cavallini,E, Jia,Y, Moss,S, McDavid,D, Hooper,L, Robinson,S, Tornielli,G, Zenoni,S, Ford,C et al, 2015, A grapevine anthocyanin acyltransferase, transcriptionally regulated by VvMYBA, can produce most acylated anthocyanins present in grape skins, Plant Physiology, 169, 3, 1897-1916 10.1104/pp.15.01255|
|2015||Jia,Y, Wong,D, Sweetman,C, Bruning,J, Ford,C, 2015, New insights into the evolutionary history of plant sorbitol dehydrogenase, BMC Plant Biology, 15, 1, 101-1-101-23 10.1186/s12870-015-0478-5|
|2014||Sweetman,C, Sadras,V, Hancock,R, Soole,K, Ford,C, 2014, Metabolic effects of elevated temperature on organic acid degradation in ripening Vitis vinifera fruit, Journal of Experimental Botany, 65, 20, 5975-5988 10.1093/jxb/eru343|
|2014||Wong,D, Sweetman,C, Ford,C, 2014, Annotation of gene function in citrus using gene expression information and co-expression networks, BMC Plant Biology, 14, 1, 186-1-186-17 10.1186/1471-2229-14-186|
|2014||Ogbeide,OA, Ford,CM, Stringer,R, 2014, The Environmental Benefits of Organic Wine: Exploring Consumer Willingness-to-Pay Premiums?, Journal of Food Products Marketing, 21, 5, 482-502 10.1080/10454446.2013.856054|
|2014||Wuryatmo,E, Able,AJ, Ford,CM, Scott,ES, 2014, Effect of volatile citral on the development of blue mould, green mould and sour rot on navel orange, Australasian Plant Pathology, 43, 4, 403-411 10.1007/s13313-014-0281-z|
|2014||Mendez-Costabel,MP, Wilkinson,KL, Bastian,SEP, Jordans,C, McCarthy,M, Ford,CM, Dokoozlian,K, 2014, Effect of increased irrigation and additional nitrogen fertilisation on the concentration of green aroma compounds in Vitis vinifera L. Merlot fruit and wine, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 20, 1, 80-90 10.1111/ajgw.12062|
|2014||Mendez-Costabel,MP, Wilkinson,KL, Bastian,SEP, Jordans,C, McCarthy,M, Ford,CM, Dokoozlian,N, 2014, Effect of winter rainfall on yield components and fruit green aromas of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Merlot in California, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 20, 1, 100-110 10.1111/ajgw.12060|
|2014||Ogbeide,OA, Stringer,R, Ford,C, 2014, Are Australian wine consumers willing to pay for the expert service of wine retailers?, Journal of Wine Research, 25, 3, 189-208 10.1080/09571264.2014.917617|
|2013||Wong,D, Sweetman,C, Drew,D, Ford,C, 2013, VTCdb: a gene co-expression database for the crop species Vitis vinifera (grapevine), BMC Genomics, 14, 1, 1-17 10.1186/1471-2164-14-882|
|2013||Mendez Costabel,M, Wilkinson,K, Bastian,S, McCarthy,M, Ford,C, Dokoozlian,N, 2013, Seasonal and regional variation of green aroma compounds in commercial vineyards of vitis vinifera L. Merlot in California, American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 64, 4, 430-436 10.5344/ajev.2013.12109|
|2012||Sweetman,C, Wong,D, Ford,C, Drew,D, 2012, Transcriptome analysis at four developmental stages of grape berry (Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz) provides insights into regulated and coordinated gene expression, BMC Genomics, 12, 691, 1-25 10.1186/1471-2164-13-691|
|2011||Capaldo,A, Walker,M, Ford,C, Jiranek,V, 2011, β-Glucoside metabolism in Oenococcus oeni: Cloning and characterisation of the phospho-β-glucosidase bglD, Food Chemistry, 125, 2, 476-482 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.09.036|
|2011||Capaldo,A, Walker,M, Ford,C, Jiranek,V, 2011, β-Glucoside metabolism in Oenococcus oeni: cloning and characterization of the phospho-β-glucosidase CelD, Journal of Molecular Catalysis B-Enzymatic, 69, 1-2, 27-34 10.1016/j.molcatb.2010.12.006|
|2011||Melino,V, Hayes,M, Soole,K, Ford,C, 2011, The role of light in the regulation of ascorbate metabolism during berry development in the cultivated grapevine Vitis vinifera L., Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91, 9, 1712-1721 10.1002/jsfa.4376|
|2010||Harris,V, Jiranek,V, Ford,C, Grbin,P, 2010, Inhibitory effect of hydroxycinnamic acids on Dekkera spp., Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 86, 2, 721-729 10.1007/s00253-009-2352-6|
|2010||Tavassolian,I, Rabiei,G, Gregory,D, Mnejja,M, Wirthensohn,M, Hunt,P, Gibson,J, Ford,C, Sedgley,M, Wu,S et al, 2010, Construction of an almond linkage map in an Australian population Nonpareil x Lauranne, BMC Genomics, 11, 1, 1-8 10.1186/1471-2164-11-551|
|2009||Melino,V, Soole,K, Ford,C, 2009, Ascorbate metabolism and the developmental demand for tartaric and oxalic acids in ripening grape berries, BMC Plant Biology, 9, 1, 1-14 10.1186/1471-2229-9-145|
|2009||Wheeler,S, Loveys,B, Ford,C, Davies,C, 2009, The relationship between the expression of abscisic acid biosynthesis genes, accumulation of abscisic acid and the promotion of Vitis vinifera L. berry ripening by abscisic acid, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 15, 3, 195-204 10.1111/j.1755-0238.2008.00045.x|
|2009||Melino,V, Soole,K, Ford,C, 2009, A method for determination of fruit-derived ascorbic, tartaric, oxalic and malic acids, and its application to the study of ascorbic acid catabolism in grapevines, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 15, 3, 293-302 10.1111/j.1755-0238.2009.00062.x|
|2009||Harris,V, Ford,C, Jiranek,V, Grbin,P, 2009, Survey of enzyme activity responsible for phenolic off-flavour production by Dekkera and Brettanomyces yeast, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 81, 6, 1117-1127 10.1007/s00253-008-1708-7|
|2009||Sweetman,C, Deluc,L, Cramer,G, Ford,C, Soole,K, 2009, Regulation of malate metabolism in grape berry and other developing fruits, Phytochemistry, 70, 11-12, 1329-1344 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.08.006|
|2009||Wu,S, Tavassolian,I, Rabiei,G, Hunt,P, Wirthensohn,M, Gibson,J, Ford,C, Sedgley,M, 2009, Mapping SNP-anchored genes using high-resolution melting analysis in almond, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 282, 3, 273-281 10.1007/s00438-009-0464-4|
|2008||De Bolt,S, Ristic,R, Iland,P, Ford,C, 2008, Altered light interception reduces grape berry weight and modulates organic acid biosynthesis during development, Hortscience, 43, 3, 957-961|
|2008||Harris,V, Ford,C, Jiranek,V, Grbin,P, 2008, Dekkera and Brettanomyces growth and utilisation of hydroxycinnamic acids in synthetic media, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 78, 6, 997-1006 10.1007/s00253-007-1328-7|
|2008||Low,L, O'Neill,B, Ford,C, Godden,J, Gishen,M, Colby,C, 2008, Economic evaluation of alternative technologies for tartrate stabilisation of wines, International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 43, 7, 1202-1216 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2007.01591.x|
|2008||Wirthensohn,M, Chin,W, Franks,T, Baldock,G, Ford,C, Sedgley,M, 2008, Characterising the flavour phenotypes of almond (Prunus dulcis Mill.) kernels, Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 83, 4, 462-468 10.1080/14620316.2008.11512407|
|2008||Franks,T, Yadollahi,A, Wirthensohn,M, Guerin,J, Kaiser,B, Sedgley,M, Ford,C, 2008, A seed coat cyanohydrin glucosyltransferase is associated with bitterness in almond (Prunus dulcis) kernels, Functional Plant Biology, 35, 3, 236-246 10.1071/FP07275|
|2007||DeBolt,S, Melino,V, Ford,C, 2007, Ascorbate as a biosynthetic precursor in plants, Annals of Botany, 99, 1, 3-8 10.1093/aob/mcl236|
|2007||de Souza,E, Pedrosa,F, Wassem,R, Ford,C, Yates,M, 2007, Genes involved in Sec-independent membrane targeting of hydrogenase in Azotobacter chroococcum, Research in Microbiology, 158, 3, 272-278 10.1016/j.resmic.2007.01.001|
|2007||Robinson,L, Healy,P, Stewart,D, Eglinton,J, Ford,C, Evans,D, 2007, The identification of a barley haze active protein that influences beer haze stability: The genetic basis of a barley malt haze active protein, Journal of Cereal Science, 45, 3, 335-342 10.1016/j.jcs.2006.08.013|
|2006||DeBolt,S, Melino,V, Ford,C, 2006, Developments in our understanding of how grapes make tartaric acid, Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 511, 57-58|
|2006||Joscelyne,V, Ford,C, 2006, The outcomes of extended maceration in red winemaking - winemakers' perspectives, Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 509a, 50-54|
|2006||DeBolt,S, Cook,D, Ford,C, 2006, L-Tartaric acid synthesis from vitamin C in higher plants, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103, 14, 5608-5613 10.1073/pnas.0510864103|
|2006||Offen,W, Martinez-Fleites,C, Yang,M, Kiat-Lim,E, Davis,B, Tarling,C, Ford,C, Bowles,D, Davies,G, 2006, Structure of a flavonoid glucosyltransferase reveals the basis for plant natural product modification, EMBO Journal, 25, 6, 1396-1405 10.1038/sj.emboj.7600970|
|2006||Franks,T, Powell,K, Choimes,S, Marsh,E, Iocco,P, Sinclair,B, Ford,C, Van Heeswijck,R, 2006, Consequences of transferring three sorghum genes for secondary metabolite (cyanogenic glucoside) biosynthesis to grapevine hairy roots, Transgenic Research, 15, 2, 181-195 10.1007/s11248-005-3737-7|
|2005||Mazza,M, Ford,C, 2005, Unravelling the outcomes of extended maceration in red winemaking, Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 497a, 56-61|
|2005||Mookerjee,S, Guerin,J, Collins,G, Ford,C, Sedgley,M, 2005, Paternity analysis using microsatellite markers to identify pollen donors in an olive grove, Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 111, 6, 1174-1182 10.1007/s00122-005-0049-5|
|2005||Ford,C, Bastian,S, Bowyer,P, Grbin,P, Jiranek,V, Jones,G, Tyerman,S, 2005, Winemaking takes a turn for the better at the University of Adelaide, Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 498, 86-86|
|2004||Ford,C, 2004, Pallet education - wine packaging and quality management, Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal, 19, 2, 66-68|
|2004||DeBolt,S, Hardie,J, Tyerman,S, Ford,C, 2004, Composition and synthesis of raphide crystals and druse crystals in berries of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon: Ascorbic acid as precursor for both oxalic and tartaric acids as revealed by radiolabelling studies, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 10, 2, 135-142 10.1111/j.1755-0238.2004.tb00016.x|
|2003||El-Kereamy,A, Chervin,C, Roustan,JP, Cheynier,V, Souquet,JM, Moutounet,M, Raynal,J, Ford,C, Latche,A, Pech,JC et al, 2003, Exogenous ethylene stimulates the long-term expression of genes related to anthocyanin biosynthesis in grape berries, Physiologia Plantarum, 119, 2, 175-182 10.1034/j.1399-3054.2003.00165.x|
|2002||El-Kereamy,A, Chervin,C, Souquet,JM, Moutounet,M, Monje,MC, Nepveu,F, Mondies,H, Ford,C, Van Heeswijck,R, Roustan,JP et al, 2002, Ethanol triggers grape gene expression leading to anthocyanin accumulation during berry ripening, Plant Science, 163, 3, 449-454 10.1016/S0168-9452(02)00142-5|
|1998||Ford,C, Paltridge,N, Rathjen,J, Moritz,R, Simpson,R, Symons,R, 1998, Rapid and informative assays for Yd2, the barley yellow dwarf virus resistance gene, based on the nucleotide sequence of a closely linked gene, Molecular Breeding, 4, 1, 23-31 10.1023/A:1009686932457|
|1998||Ford,C, Hoj,P, 1998, Multiple glucosyltransferase activities in the grapevine Vitis vinifera L, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 4, 2, 48-58 10.1111/j.1755-0238.1998.tb00134|
|1998||Ford,C, Boss,P, Hoj,P, 1998, Cloning and characterization of vitis vinifera UDP-glucose: Flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase, a homologue of the enzyme encoded by the maize bronze-1 locus that may primarily serve to glucosylate anthocyanidins in vivo, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273, 15, 9224-9233 10.1074/jbc.273.15.9224|
|1996||Collins,N, Paltridge,N, Ford,C, Symons,R, 1996, The Yd2 gene for barley yellow dwarf virus resistance maps close to the centromere on the long arm of barley chromosome 3, Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 92, 7, 858-864 10.1007/BF00221898|
|2012||Ford,C, 2012, The biochemistry of organic acids in the grape, Bentham Science Publishers, pp. 67-88 10.2174/978160805360511201010067|
|2010||Wirthensohn,M, Chin,W, Franks,T, Baldock,G, Ford,C, Sedgley,M, 2010, Investigation of flavour compounds from sweet, semi-bitter and bitter almonds kernels, Meeting of the Mediterranean Research Group for Almond and Pistachio (GREMPA), Athens, Greece|
|2008||DeBolt,S, Melino,V, Soole,K, Hayes,M, Ford,C, 2008, The potential to modify grape berry acidity through an understanding of the metabolism of tartaric and malic acids., 13th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, Adelaide|
|2007||Low,L, Colby,C, O'Neill,B, Ford,C, Godden,J, Gishen,M, 2007, Field testing of nanofiltration for tartrate stabilisation of wine at Berri Estates Winery, CHEMECA, Melbourne, Australia|
|2006||Tavassolian,I, Sedgley,M, Kaiser,B, Wirthensohn,M, Ford,C, 2006, The construction of an almond linkage map using morphological and microsatellite markers on 'Nonpariel' x 'Lauranne' population., International Rosaceae Genomics Conference (Napier, New Zealand), Napier, New Zealand|
|2005||Low,L, Colby,C, O'Neill,B, Ford,C, Godden,J, Gishen,M, 2005, Alternative technologies for tartrate stabilisation of wines: which is better?, CHEMECA, Hilton Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|2006||Paltridge,N, Collins,N, Ford,C, Langridge,P, King,B, Symons,R, Li,R, 2006, A map-based approach towards cloning the Yd2 resistance gene in barley, Barley yellow dwarf disease: Recent advances and future strategies, Mexico|
|2007||DeBolt,S, Cook,D, Ford,C; 2007; Tartaric and ascorbic acid biosynthetic pathways in plants: role of l-idonate dehydrogenase|
Wine 2030: Grapevine metabolism: the effects of increased day and night-time temperatures on berry composition of organic acids. 2011. Dr Chris Ford
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 1002: Organic acid metabolism and the control of grape berry acidity in a warming climate. 2010-2015. Dr Chris Ford.
Australian Research Council – LIEF Grant LE0989336: The South Australian Facility for Small and Large Molecule X‑Ray Diffraction Structure Determination. Dr CJ Sumby; Prof JA Carver; Prof JC Wallace; Asst Prof M Hrmova; Prof A Pring; Prof AD Abell; Dr GW Booker; Prof MI Bruce; Dr J Brugger; Dr CM Ford; Dr HH Harris; Dr JC Morris; Prof JC Paton; Dr DJ Peet; Dr SM Pyke; Dr KE Shearwin; Dr RI Menz; Dr CA Abbott; Dr PA Anderson; Dr MH Brown; Dr MR Johnston; Dr KA Schuller; Prof AF Lopez; Dr SM Pitson; Prof SF Lincoln; Prof RA McKinnon.
Australian Research Council – Discovery Grant DP0985378: The control of metabolite glucosylation during grape berry development. 2009. Dr Chris Ford, Prof. Dennis Taylor, Dr Mark Thomas, Dr Paul Boss.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. GWR H06/06: Tartaric acid biosynthesis gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana. Honours scholarship and research support. 2007.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. GWR H06/06: sensory and compositional consequences of extended maceration in red wine making. Honours scholarship and research support. 2007.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 06/02: Organic acid metabolism during grape berry development. 2006-2009;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 05/03: Consequences of extended maceration on the composition of red wines. 2005-2008;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 05/02: The role of ascorbic acid in grape berry development. 2005-2008;
Australian Research Council – Linkage Grant LP0560480; Understanding, controlling and improving the flavour of almond kernels. 2005-2007. Prof. Margaret Sedgley, Dr Brent Kaiser and Dr Chris Ford
Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture – Sub-program 3, Project 3.3.3 Organic acid metabolism.
March 2003 to September 2006;
$45,000 per annum; $9,000 additional support in 2006 for generation of transgenic grapevines
Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture – Sub-program 1, Project 1.2 The Tannin Project
July 2003 to June 2005;
$15,000 per annum
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Growth and physiology of Brettanomyces/Dekkera yeast and the production of flavour impact compounds in wine. Paul Grbin, Vladimir Jiranek and Chris Ford.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project UA 02/03 Metabolic consequences of the transfer of an entire plant secondary metabolic pathway into grapevine hairy root cultures. March – November 2003;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project UA 02/04 An investigation of flavonol glucosyltransferase activity in grapevine tissues. March – November 2003;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project UA 01/07 The development of an assay for the activity of tartaric acid biosynthetic enzymes in grapevine tissues. March – November 2002;
I deliver approximately half of the lectures in Animal and Plant Biochemistry, at both Waite and Roseworthy campuses (ca 20 hours per campus), and am also responsible for tutorial classes (3 hours per week) at Waite. I was Course Coordinator and principal lecturer for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework-level teaching in Introductory Winemaking from 2001 to 2013, and resumed this role in 2015. I also coordinate and teach the final-year course Grape and Wine Industry Practice, Policy and Communication. Previously to this I was the CC and principal lecturer for Wine Packaging & Quality Management (2001-2008), and Fermentation Technology (2009-2010). I continue to present lectures in Fermentation Technology and Viticultural Science III.
The Bachelor of Applied Biology degree, launched at UA in 2015, was developed under my leadership during 2013 and 2014. I am Program Convenor for this degree, and continue to be actively engaged in establishing the curriculum structure, including Major Pathways, the Student Exchange and Work Placement components.
I am Coordinator for the Level II course Animal and Plant Biochemistry, delivered to around 200 students at the Waite and Roseworthy campuses. I convened the working group that developed this course in 2008. I am also the Course Coordinator for the Level II Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology (BVO) and Masters of Viticulture and Oenology course Introductory Winemaking, and the Level III course Grape Industry, Practice, Policy and Communications.
I am currently the principal supervisor for two PhD students: Jenny Bellon (enrolled 2008), and Hui Hui Chong (2012) and co-supervisor of one (Lieke van der Hulst). Nineteen PhD students have completed their candidatures with me (‘P’ = Principal Supervisor):_Louise Robinson, Seth DeBolt (P), Lin Lin Low, Susan Wheeler, Iraj Tavassolian (P), Venetia Joscelyne (P), Victoria Harris, Vanessa Melino (P), Erminawati Wuryatmo, Crystal Sweetman, Crista Burbidge, Alana Capaldo, Martin Mendez, Cyd Yonker (P), Tony Ogbeide (P), Amy Koschella (P), Darren Wong(P) , Jia Yong (P) and Emily Higginson (P). I have also supervised four Masters students and 12 honours students.