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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.

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.

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 Country Amount
2018 Award ASPS Peter Goldacre Award Australian Society of Plant Scientists Australia
2017 Award Women in Innovation Award for Science 2017
2017 Award 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Grains Research and Development Corporation Winner
2016 Award ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Grains Research and Development Corporation Inaugural Rana Munns Award
2016 Award University of Adelaide Faculty of Sciences Early Career Researcher 2017 International Conference Travel Award
2016 Achievement Waite In The Spotlight 2016 https://youtu.be/SNK4UjHE1Vc Waite Research Institute
2015 Award 2015 Australian Institute of Policy and Science South Australian Young Tall Poppy Award
2015 Fellowship Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2015
2014 Award University of Adelaide 2014 Edith Dornwell Medal for Early-Career Research Excellence
2011 Research Award Journal of Integrative Plant Biology Best Expert Review Article Award
2008 Invitation Invited interview for the educational documentary Seed Hunter
2007 Research Award CSIRO Plant Industry Chief's Award for Excellence in Team Research CSIRO Australia

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

Year Citation
2019 Tyerman, S., Munns, R., Fricke, W., Arsova, B., Barkla, B., Bose, J., . . . Wen, Z. (2019). Energy costs of salinity tolerance in crop plants. New Phytologist, 221(1), 25-29.
DOI
2018 Xu, B., Waters, S., Byrt, C., Plett, D., Tyerman, S., Tester, M., . . . Gilliham, M. (2018). Structural variations in wheat HKT1;5 underpin differences in Na+ transport capacity. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 75(6), 1133-1144.
DOI Scopus2 WoS1 Europe PMC2
2018 Byrt, C., Munns, R., Burton, R., Gilliham, M., & Wege, S. (2018). Root cell wall solutions for crop plants in saline soils. Plant Science, 269, 47-55.
DOI Scopus4 WoS3 Europe PMC1
2018 McGaughey, S., Qiu, J., Tyerman, S., & Byrt, C. S. (2018). Regulating Root Aquaporin Function in Response to Changes in Salinity. Annual Plant Reviews Online.
DOI
2017 Kourghi, M., Nourmohammadi, S., Pei, J., Qiu, J., McGaughey, S., Tyerman, S., . . . Yool, A. (2017). Divalent cations regulate the ion conductance properties of diverse classes of aquaporins. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2323-1-2323-19.
DOI Scopus5 WoS4 Europe PMC2
2017 Jaime-Pérez, N., Pineda, B., García-Sogo, B., Atares, A., Athman, A., Byrt, C., . . . Belver, A. (2017). The sodium transporter encoded by the HKT1;2 gene modulates sodium/potassium homeostasis in tomato shoots under salinity. Plant, Cell and Environment, 40(5), 658-671.
DOI Scopus8 WoS7 Europe PMC7
2017 Byrt, C., Zhao, M., Kourghi, M., Bose, J., Henderson, S., Qiu, J., . . . Tyerman, S. (2017). Non-selective cation channel activity of aquaporin AtPIP2;1 regulated by Ca²⁺ and pH. Plant, Cell and Environment, 40(6), 802-815.
DOI Scopus34 WoS26 Europe PMC19
2016 McGaughey, S., Osborn, H., Chen, L., Pegler, J., Tyerman, S., Furbank, R., . . . Grof, C. (2016). Roles of aquaporins in Setaria viridis stem development and sugar storage. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7(DECEMBER2016), 1815-1-1815-13.
DOI Scopus4 WoS4
2016 Li, B., Byrt, C., Qiu, J., Baumann, U., Hrmova, M., Evrard, A., . . . Roy, S. (2016). Identification of a stelar-localized transport protein that facilitates root-to-shoot transfer of chloride in arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 170(2), 1014-1029.
DOI Scopus24 WoS19 Europe PMC15
2016 Byrt, C., Betts, N., Tan, H., Lim, W., Ermawar, R., Nguyen, H., . . . Burton, R. (2016). Prospecting for energy-rich renewable raw materials : Sorghum stem case study. PLoS One, 11(5), e0156638-1-e0156638-20.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC1
2016 Corbin, K., Betts, N., van Holst, N., Jiranek, V., Chambers, D., Byrt, C., . . . Burton, R. (2016). Low-input fermentations of agave tequilana leaf juice generate high returns on ethanol yields. BioEnergy Research, 9(4), 1142-1154.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2
2015 Ermawar, R., Collins, H., Byrt, C., Betts, N., Henderson, M., Shirley, N., . . . Burton, R. (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.
DOI Scopus9 WoS10 Europe PMC7
2015 Corbin, K., Hsieh, Y., Betts, N., Byrt, C., Henderson, M., Stork, J., . . . Burton, R. (2015). Grape marc as a source of carbohydrates for bioethanol: chemical composition, pre-treatment and saccharification. Bioresource Technology, 193, 76-83.
DOI Scopus32 WoS27 Europe PMC5
2015 Corbin, K., Byrt, C., Bauer, S., DeBolt, S., Chambers, D., Holtum, J., . . . Burton, R. (2015). Prospecting for energy-rich renewable raw materials: agave leaf case study. PLoS One, 10(8), e0135382-1-e0135382-23.
DOI Scopus21 WoS17 Europe PMC4
2015 Ermawar, R., Collins, H., Byrt, C., Henderson, M., O'Donovan, L., Shirley, N., . . . Burton, R. (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.
DOI Scopus4 WoS4 Europe PMC2
2014 Byrt, C., Xu, B., Krishnan, M., Lightfoot, D., Athman, A., Jacobs, A., . . . Gilliham, M. (2014). The Na⁺ transporter, TaHKT1;5-D, limits shoot Na⁺ accumulation in bread wheat. The Plant Journal, 80(3), 516-526.
DOI Scopus51 WoS51 Europe PMC37
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.
DOI Scopus23 WoS22 Europe PMC13
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.
DOI Scopus22 WoS23 Europe PMC13
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.
DOI Scopus2 WoS1
2012 Munns, R., James, R., Xu, B., Athman, A., Conn, S., Jordans, C., . . . Gilliham, M. (2012). Wheat grain yield on saline soils is improved by an ancestral Na+ transporter gene. Nature Biotechnology, 30(4), 360-364.
DOI Scopus277 WoS249 Europe PMC156
2011 James, R., Blake, C., Byrt, C., & 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.
DOI Scopus118 WoS98 Europe PMC47
2011 Byrt, C. S., Grof, C. P., & Furbank, R. T. (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.
DOI Scopus86 WoS78 Europe PMC46
2009 Kibble, N., Sohani, M., Shirley, N., Byrt, C., Roessner, U., Bacic, A., . . . Schultz, C. (2009). Phylogenetic analysis and functional characterisation of strictosidine synthase-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Functional Plant Biology, 36(12), 1098-1109.
DOI Scopus6 WoS3 Europe PMC3
2008 Byrt, C. S., & Munns, R. (2008). Living with salinity. New Phytologist, 179(4), 903-905.
DOI Scopus13 WoS13 Europe PMC4
2007 Byrt, C., Platten, J., Spielmeyer, W., James, R., Lagudah, E., Dennis, E., . . . Munns, R. (2007). HKT1;5-like cation transporters linked to Na+ exclusion loci in wheat Nax2 and Kna1. Plant Physiology, 143(4), 1918-1928.
DOI Scopus192 Europe PMC122

Book Chapters

Conference Items

Year Citation
2016 Byrt, C. S., Zhao, M., Kourghi, M., Bose, J., Henderson, S. W., Qui, J., . . . Tyerman, S. (2016). Charging up water transport with plant aquaporins permeable to ions. Poster session presented at the meeting of Combio2016. Brisbane, Australia.

Recorded/Rendered Creative Works

Year Citation
2008 NTRO sub category: 1 Audio/Visual Recording
Title: Seed Hunter
Authors: Ingleton S
Publisher: Film Finance Corporation Australia and 360 Degree Films Pty Ltd
Publisher URL: http://www.seedhunter.com/
Place of publication: Victoria
Publication date: 2008
Extent: 1 hour
Record created at source: 23 March 2016

Patents

Year Citation
2010 Byrt, C. S., Grof, C. P. L., & Cahyanegara, R. (2010). 2010904236, An enzyme.
2008 Byrt, C. S., James, R. A., Lagudah, E. S., Munns, R., Platten, J. D., & Spielmeyer, W. (2008). WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/006169, Polynucleotides and methods for enhancing salinity tolerance in plants.
2006 Byrt, C. S., Huang, S., James, R. A., Lagudah, E. S., Munns, R., & Spielmeyer, W. (2006). 20069047, Salt tolerant plants.

Theses

Year Citation
2008 Byrt, C. S. (2008). Genes for sodium exclusion in wheat. (University of Adelaide).

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)

Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2017 Co-Supervisor Enhancing Crop Performance with Energy Use Efficient Abiotic Stress Tolerance Traits Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Muhammad Khairul Hisyam Ahmad Sohaimi
2017 Principal Supervisor Exploring The Roles of Dual Water in Channels Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Hoai Thi Thanh Phan
2016 Principal Supervisor Investigating Aquaporins Linked to Drought Tolerance Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Samantha McGaughey
2015 Co-Supervisor Physiological and Molecular Cues Influencing Female Development in Cereal Crops Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Laura Gay Wilkinson

Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Regulation of Reserve Carbohydrates in Hull-less Barley Grain Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Wai Li Lim
2012 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Characterization of Agro-Industrial Residues and Development of Processing Strategies for Conversion to Bioethanol Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Kendall Corbin
2011 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Metabolic Engineering of C4 Grasses for Biofuel Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Riksfardini Annisa Ermawar

Memberships

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

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