Associate Professor Matthew Tucker

Matthew Tucker
ARC Future Fellow
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Faculty of Sciences

Dr Tucker is a developmental geneticist with research expertise in plant reproduction, meristem growth and cell wall biosynthesis. He received his PhD from the University of Adelaide and CSIRO Plant Industry in 2003, undertook postdoctoral research as an EMBO fellow at the University of Freiburg in Germany and in 2011 joined the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls as a Senior Research Fellow. In 2015 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship and in 2017 was promoted to Associate Professor.

Research in his laboratory investigates communication between different cells in the ovule, seed and root, with the aim of understanding how these signals can be engineered for superior plant products and reproductive strategies. His work has been published in journals including Developmental Cell, PloS Genetics, Plant Cell and Development.

Connect With Me

External Profiles

Networks

Associate Professor Matthew Tucker

Dr Tucker is a developmental geneticist with research expertise in plant reproduction, meristem growth and cell wall biosynthesis. He received his PhD from the University of Adelaide and CSIRO Plant Industry in 2003, undertook postdoctoral research as an EMBO fellow at the University of Freiburg in Germany and in 2011 joined the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls as a Senior Research Fellow. In 2015 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship and in 2017 was promoted to Associate Professor.

Research in his laboratory investigates communication between different cells in the ovule, seed and root, with the aim of understanding how these signals can be engineered for superior plant products and reproductive strategies. His work has been published in journals including Developmental Cell, PloS Genetics, Plant Cell and Development.

Ovule Development

ovules

Plant reproduction delivers many fruits, grains, beverages and industrial products that are a fundamental requirement of human society. Understanding how plants produce their gametes is therefore a key area of interest to ensure stable and improved yields in the future. We have been studying ovule development in Arabidopsis, barley and Hieracium to establish how female reproductive cells are specified. Communication between different ovule cells based on their position has long been hypothesised as a mechanism controlling reproductive cell identity, but is challenging to address due to the technical difficulties in accessing them in the ovule. With partners at CSIRO Agriculture (Dr Anna Koltunow), we have developed and utilised a method for Laser Assisted Microdissection (LAM) to capture these cells and characterise genes involved in ovule development. In parallel, large scale genetic screens have led to the identification of novel markers of reproductive cell development and the delineation of molecular pathways influencing reproductive cell fate. Work in this area is supported by the ARC (http://www.arc.gov.au/), as well as international partnerships with the SEXSEED consortium (http://www.fc.up.pt/sexseed/), North Carolina State University (http://www4.ncsu.edu/~rgfranks/) and the University of Freiburg (http://www.biologie.uni-freiburg.de/LauxLab/default%20tafang.htm)

Recent Papers:

Lora J, Herrero M, Tucker MR, Hormaza JI (2016) The transition from somatic to germline identity shows conserved and specialised features during angiosperm evolution. New Phytologist, DOI: 10.1111/nph.14330. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.14330/abstract

Okada T, Hu Y, Tucker MR, Taylor JM, Johnson SD, Spriggs A, Tsuchiya T, Oelkers K, Rodrigues JCM, Koltunow AMG (2013) Enlarging cells initiating apomixis in Hieracium praealtum transition to an embryo sac program prior to entering mitosis. Plant Physiology, 163(1):216-31. http:/​/​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1104/​pp.​113.​219485

Tucker MR, Okada T, Hu Y, Scholefield A, Taylor JM, Koltunow AM (2012) Somatic small RNA pathways promote the mitotic events of megagametogenesis during female reproductive development in Arabidopsis. Development, 139(8):1399-404. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22399683

Grain Development

seed

Cereal grains are an important dietary component that contribute benefits for human health and nutrition, and can also be utilised for industrial processes in the brewing, fibre and food industries. Within the cereal grain, different tissues such as the outer aleurone layer and inner starchy endosperm accumulate varying amounts of starch, dietary fibre and antioxidants. Genes controlling the balance between outer and inner identity might therefore be used to tailor the composition of cereal grains for specific end uses. We have been studying endosperm development in cereal species to understand the genetic basis for endosperm cell identity, with a specific focus on mechanisms that allow different cell types to communicate. This work is supported by the ARC and GRDC (https://grdc.com.au/) and involves international partners including the James Hutton Institute (http://www.hutton.ac.uk/staff/robbie-waugh). We also enjoy share a strong partnership with the State Breeding Institute at the University of Hohenheim (https://www.uni-hohenheim.de/institution/landessaatzuchtanstalt-2) relating to genetic analysis of complex traits in cereals.

Recent Papers:

Zhang R, Tucker MR, Burton RA, Shirley NJ, Little A, Morris J, Milne L, Houston K, Hedley PE, Waugh R, Fincher GB (2016) The dynamics of transcript abundance during cellularisation of developing barley endosperm. Plant Physiol. doi:10.1104/pp.15.01690. http://bit.ly/1n75yZ2

Trafford K, Haleux P, Henderson M, Parker M, Shirley NJ, Tucker MR, Fincher GB, Burton RA (2013) Grain development in Brachypodium and other grasses: Interactions between cell expansion, starch deposition and cell wall synthesis. Journal of Experimental Botany, 64(16):5033-47. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24052531

Plant Cell Walls

mucilage

Plant cells are surrounded by a complex wall consisting of polysaccharides, proteins, phenolic acids and water. The cell wall fulfils a crucial role in supporting plant growth and development and defending against pathogen invasion. In collaboration with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls (http://www.plantcellwalls.org.au/) we have been studying how different components of the wall are synthesised, how they influence reproductive development and how they interact with barley parasites such as the cereal cyst nematode, Heterodera avenae.

Recent Papers:

Tucker MR, Ma C, Phan J, Neumann K, Shirley NJ, Hahn MG, Cozzolino D, Burton RA (2017) Dissecting the genetic basis for seed coat mucilage heteroxylan biosynthesis in Plantago ovata using gamma irradiation and infrared spectroscopy. Front. Plant Sci. (in press)

Phan JL, Tucker MR, Khor S-F, Shirley N, Lahnstein J, Beahan C, Bacic T, Burton RA (2016) Differences in the glycosyltransferase family 61 accompany interspecific variation in seed coat mucilage composition and heteroxylan structure in Plantago spp. Journal of Experimental Botany, 22: 6481-6495

Houston K, Tucker MR, Chowdhury J, Shirley N, Little A (2016) The plant cell wall: a complex and dynamic structure as revealed by the responses of genes under stress conditions. Front. Plant Sci., doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00984. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpls.2016.00984/abstract

Aditya J, Lewis J, Shirley NJ, Tan H, Henderson M, Fincher GB, Burton RA, Mather DE, Tucker MR (2015) The dynamics of cereal cyst nematode infection differ between susceptible and resistant barley cultivars and lead to changes in (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan levels and HvCslF gene transcript abundance. New Phytologist, 207(1), 135-147. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25737227

Shoot Meristem Development

embryo

ARGONAUTE proteins bind small RNA molecules to silence the transcription and translation of homologous target sequences. In Arabidopsis, several AGOs contribute to development of the embryonic shoot meristem. Using a combination of genetic screens and natural mutants, we are studying the broader network of AGO-dependent genes controlling embryonic meristem development to determine how these might be tailored to improve plant growth under adverse conditions.

Recent Papers:

Tucker MR, Roodbarkelari F, Truernit E, Adamski NM, Hinze A, Lohmueller B, Würschum T, Laux T (2013) Accession-specific modifiers act with ZWILLE/ARGONAUTE10 to maintain shoot meristem stem cells during embryogenesis in Arabidopsis. BMC Genomics, 14:809. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/14/809/abstract

Knauer S, Holt AL, Rubio-Somoza I, Tucker EJ, Hinze A, Pisch M, Javelle M, Timmermans MC, Tucker MR, Laux T (2013). A protodermal miR394 signal defines a region of stem cell competence in the Arabidopsis shoot meristem. Developmental Cell, 24(2), 125-132. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23333352

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2015 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide

Language Competencies

Language Competency
German Can read and understand spoken

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2003 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
1998 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours)

Keywords

Developmental Biology, Plant Biology, Plant Biology & Botany, Plant Cell and Molecular Biology, Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology

Journals

Date Citation
2016 Houston,K, Tucker,MR, Chowdhury,J, Shirley,N, Little,A, 2016, The plant cell wall: a complex and dynamic structure as revealed by the responses of genes under stress conditions, Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, AUG2016, 1-18 10.3389/fpls.2016.00984
2016 Yu,J, Meng,Z, Liang,W, Behera,S, Kudla,J, Tucker,MR, Luo,Z, Chen,M, Xu,D, Zhao,G et al, 2016, A rice Ca2+ binding protein is required for tapetum function and pollen formation, Plant Physiology, 172, 3, 1772-1786 10.1104/pp.16.01261
2016 Phan,JL, Tucker,MR, Khor,SF, Shirley,N, Lahnstein,J, Beahan,C, Bacic,A, Burton,RA, 2016, Differences in glycosyltransferase family 61 accompany variation in seed coat mucilage composition in Plantago spp., J Exp Bot, 67, 22, 6481-6495 10.1093/jxb/erw424
2016 Liu,W, Leiser,WL, Reif,JC, Tucker,MR, Losert,D, Weissmann,S, Hahn,V, Maurer,HP, Würschum,T, 2016, Multiple-line cross QTL mapping for grain yield and thousand kernel weight in triticale, Plant Breeding, 135, 5, 567-573 10.1111/pbr.12400
2016 Lora,J, Herrero,M, Tucker,MR, Hormaza,JI, 2016, The transition from somatic to germline identity shows conserved and specialized features during angiosperm evolution, New Phytologist, Online, 1-15 10.1111/nph.14330
2016 Liu,W, Maurer,HP, Leiser,WL, Tucker,MR, Weissmann,S, Hahn,V, Würschum,T, 2016, Potential for Marker-Assisted Simultaneous Improvement of Grain and Biomass Yield in Triticale, Bioenergy Research, 1-7 10.1007/s12155-016-9809-0
2016 Zhang,R, Tucker,MR, Burton,RA, Shirley,NJ, Little,A, Morris,J, Milne,L, Houston,K, Hedley,PE, Waugh,R et al, 2016, The dynamics of transcript abundance during cellularization of developing barley endosperm, Plant Physiology, 170, 3, 1549-1565 10.1104/pp.15.01690
2016 Würschum,T, Longin,CF, Hahn,V, Tucker,MR, Leiser,WL, 2016, Copy number variations of CBF genes at the Fr-A2 locus are essential components of winter hardiness in wheat., Plant J, 89, 4, - 10.1111/tpj.13424
2015 Aditya,J, Lewis,J, Shirley,NJ, Tan,HT, Henderson,M, Fincher,GB, Burton,RA, Mather,DE, Tucker,MR, 2015, The dynamics of cereal cyst nematode infection differ between susceptible and resistant barley cultivars and lead to changes in (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan levels and HvCslF gene transcript abundance, New Phytologist, 207, 1, 135-147 10.1111/nph.13349
2015 Würschum,T, Tucker,MR, Maurer,HP, Leiser,WL, 2015, Ethylene inhibitors improve efficiency of microspore embryogenesis in hexaploid triticale, Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, 122, 3, 751-757 10.1007/s11240-015-0808-1
2014 Liu,W, Maurer,HP, Li,G, Tucker,MR, Gowda,M, Weissmann,EA, Hahn,V, Würschum,T, 2014, Genetic architecture of winter hardiness and frost tolerance in triticale, PLoS One, 9, 6, e99848-1-e99848-7 10.1371/journal.pone.0099848
2014 Tucker,M, Koltunow,A, 2014, Traffic monitors at the cell periphery: the role of cell walls during early female reproductive cell differentiation in plants, Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 17, 1, 137-145 10.1016/j.pbi.2013.11.015
2014 Würschum,T, Liu,W, Busemeyer,L, Tucker,MR, Reif,JC, Weissmann,EA, Hahn,V, Ruckelshausen,A, Maurer,HP, 2014, Mapping dynamic QTL for plant height in triticale, BMC Genetics, 15, 1, 59-1-59-8 10.1186/1471-2156-15-59
2014 Würschum,T, Liu,W, Alheit,KV, Tucker,MR, Gowda,M, Weissmann,EA, Hahn,V, Maurer,HPE, 2014, Adult plant development in triticale (× triticosecale wittmack) is controlled by dynamic genetic patterns of regulation, G3, 4, 9, 1585-1591 10.1534/g3.114.012989
2014 Wurschum,T, Tucker,M, Maurer,H, 2014, Stress treatments influence efficiency of microspore embryogenesis and green plant regeneration in hexaploid triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack L.), In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-plant, 50, 1, 143-148 10.1007/s11627-013-9539-3
2013 Tucker,M, Roodbarkelari,F, Truernit,E, Adamski,N, Hinze,A, Lohmuller,B, Wurschum,T, Laux,T, 2013, Accession-specific modifiers act with ZWILLE/ARGONAUTE10 to maintain shoot meristem stem cells during embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, BMC Genomics, 14, 1, 809-1-809-14 10.1186/1471-2164-14-809
2013 Okada,T, Hu,Y, Tucker,M, Taylor,J, Johnson,S, Spriggs,A, Tsuchiya,T, Oelkers,K, Rodrigues,J, Koltunow,A et al, 2013, Enlarging cells initiating apomixis in Hieracium praealtum transition to an embryo sac program prior to entering mitosis, Plant Physiology, 163, 1, 216-231 10.1104/pp.113.219485
2013 Knauer,S, Holt,A, Rubio-Somoza,I, Tucker,E, Hinze,A, Pisch,M, Javelle,M, Timmermans,M, Tucker,M, Laux,T et al, 2013, A protodermal miR394 signal defines a region of stem cell competence in the Arabidopsis shoot meristem, Developmental Cell, 24, 2, 125-132 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.12.009
2013 Liu,W, Maurer,H, Reif,J, Melchinger,A, Utz,H, Tucker,M, Ranc,N, Della Porta,G, Wurschum,T, 2013, Optimum design of family structure and allocation of resources in association mapping with lines from multiple crosses, Heredity, 110, 1, 71-79 10.1038/hdy.2012.63
2013 Trafford,K, Haleux,P, Henderson,M, Parker,M, Shirley,N, Tucker,M, Fincher,G, Burton,R, 2013, Grain development in Brachypodium and other grasses: possible interactions between cell expansion, starch deposition, and cell-wall synthesis, Journal of Experimental Botany, 64, 16, 5033-5047 10.1093/jxb/ert292
2012 Alheit,K, Maurer,H, Reif,J, Tucker,M, Hahn,V, Weissmann,E, Wurschum,T, 2012, Genome-wide evaluation of genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in winter and spring triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack), BMC Genomics, 13, 1, 1-10 10.1186/1471-2164-13-235
2012 Wurschum,T, Tucker,M, Reif,J, Maurer,H, 2012, Improved efficiency of doubled haploid generation in hexaploid triticale by in vitro chromosome doubling, BMC Plant Biology, 12, 1, 1-6 10.1186/1471-2229-12-109
2012 Tucker,M, Okada,T, Hu,Y, Scholefield,A, Taylor,J, Koltunow,A, 2012, Somatic small RNA pathways promote the mitotic events of megagametogenesis during female reproductive development in arabidopsis, Development, 139, 8, 1399-1404 10.1242/dev.075390
2012 Tucker,M, Okada,T, Johnson,S, Takaiwa,F, Koltunow,A, 2012, Sporophytic ovule tissues modulate the initiation and progression of apomixis in Hieracium, Journal of Experimental Biology, 63, 8, 3229-3241 10.1093/jxb/ers047
2011 Wang,J, Andersson-Gunneras,S, Gaboreanu,I, Hertzberg,M, Tucker,M, Zheng,B, Lesniewska,J, Mellerowicz,E, Laux,T, Sandberg,G et al, 2011, Reduced expression of the SHORT-ROOT gene increases the rates of growth and development in hybrid Poplar and Arabidosis, PLoS One, 6, 12, 1-9 10.1371/journal.pone.0028878
2009 Tucker,M, Koltunow,A, 2009, Sexual and asexual (apomictic) seed development in flowering plants: molecular, morphological and evolutionary relationships, Functional Plant Biology, 36, 6, 490-504 10.1071/FP09078
2009 Mallory,A, Hinze,A, Tucker,M, Bouche,N, Gasciolli,V, Elmayan,T, Lauressergues,D, Jauvion,V, Vaucheret,H, Laux,T et al, 2009, Redundant and specific roles of the ARGONAUTE proteins AGO1 and ZLL in development and small RNA-directed gene silencing, PLoS Genetics, 5, 9/e1000646, 1-12 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000646
2008 Tucker,M, Hinze,A, Tucker,E, Takada,S, Jurgens,G, Laux,T, 2008, Vascular signalling mediated by ZWILLE potentiates WUSCHEL function during shoot meristem stem cell development in the Arabidopsis embryo, Development, 135, 17, 2839-2843 10.1242/dev.023648
2008 Koltunow,A, Tucker,M, 2008, Functional embryo sac formation in Arabidopsis without meiosis - one step towards asexual seed formation (apomixis) in crops?, Journal of Biosciences, 33, 3, 309-311 10.1007/s12038-008-0049-0
2008 Macedo Rodrigues,J, Tucker,M, Johnson,S, Hrmova,M, Koltunow,A, 2008, Sexual and Apomictic Seed Formation in Hieracium Requires the Plant Polycomb-Group Gene fertilization independent endosperm, Plant Cell, 20, 9, 2372-2386 10.1105/tpc.108.059287
2007 Tucker,M, Laux,T, 2007, Connecting the paths in plant stem cell regulation, Trends in Cell Biology, 17, 8, 403-410 10.1016/j.tcb.2007.06.002
2003 Tucker,M, Araujo,AC, Paech,N, Hecht,V, Schmidt,E, Rossell,JB, de Vries,S, Koltunow,A, 2003, Sexual and apomictic reproduction in Hieracium subgenus Pilosella are closely interrelated developmental pathways, Plant Cell, 15, 7, 1524-1537 10.1105/tpc.011742
2001 Chaudhury,AM, Koltunow,A, Payne,T, Luo,M, Tucker,MR, Dennis,ES, Peacock,WJ, 2001, Control of early seed development, Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, 17, 1, 677-699 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.17.1.677
2001 Tucker,M, Paech,N, Willemse,M, Koltunow,A, 2001, Dynamics of callose deposition and b-1,3-glucanase expression during reproductive events in sexual and apomictic Hieracium, Planta, 212, 4, 487-498 10.1007/s004250000445

Book Chapters

Date Citation
2002 Tucker,MR, Koltunow,AMG, Paech,N, Vivian-Smith,A, 2002, The central role of the ovule in apomixis and parthenocarpy, Taylor & Francis

Conference Papers

Date Citation
2011 Tucker,MR, Koltunow,AMG, 2011, Advances in apomixis research: can we fix heterosis?

M.R. Tucker, Defining pathways that establish and maintain reproductive cell identity in plant ovules and seeds, 2014-2018, ARC Future Fellowship

D.E. Mather, J.F. Thompson, K.J. Chalmers, T.J. Sutton, M.R. Tucker, J.D. Taylor, K.H.P. Khoo, Protecting Your Crop: Development of tools to accelerate Nematode resistance gene deployment, GRDC, 2015-2020

S. Coimbra, L. Colombo, C. Spillane, E. Albertini, M. Tucker, B. Franks, B. Jones, R. Palanivelu, “SEXSEED” - Sexual Plant Reproduction – Seed formation, EU H2020-MSCARISE-2015-2018

M. Tucker, T. Laux, Y. Xu, J.G. Schwerdt, Genetic control of germline initiation in flowering plants, Universities Australia - DAAD - Australia Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme. 2016-2017

M. Tucker, J. Alonso, The hormonal control of female reproduction in flowering plants,  University of Adelaide / North Carolina State University funding. 2015-2016

 
 

PLANT DEVELOPMENTAL GENETICS: 103561, GENE EXPRESSION AND HUMAN & DEVELOPMENTAL GENETICS, (GENETICS 3211)

Current PhD Students

Sarah Moss (CSIRO/UA)

Sarah

Jana Phan (UA)

Jana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guillermo Garcia (JHI/PCW)

Guillermo

Matthew Aubert (UA)

Matt

Laura Wilkinson (UA)

Laura

Haoyu (Mia) Lou (UA/UoN)

Mia

Cindy Callens (UoN/UA)

Kum (Maple) Ang (UA)

Caterina Selva (UA)

Rosanna Petrella (Uni Milan)

Current Honours/Masters Students

Sara Pinto (Uni Porto)

Dayton Bird (UA)

 

Dayton

Daniel Mckay (UA)

Completed PhD Students

Sonia Bosca (Uni Freiburg)

Annika Hinze (Uni Freiburg)

Completed Honours/Diplom/Masters Students

Weng Herng Leong (UA)

Sandy (Shi) Khor (UA)

Matthew Aubert (UA)

Grance Ang (UA)

Chao Ma (UA)

George Mondoh (UA)

Basheer Jasim (UA)

Jessika Pan (UA)

Anna Holt (Uni Freiburg)

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2012 Member International Association for Sexual Plant Reproduction Research
2012 Member Australian Society of Plant Scientists Australia

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2015 Representative Australian Society of Plant Scientists Australian Society of Plant Scientists Australia
2015 Representative Institutional Biosafety Commitee University of Adelaide Australia
Position
ARC Future Fellow
Phone
83139241
Fax
8313 7102
Campus
Waite
Building
Wine Innovation Central
Org Unit
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

top