Diane Mather

Professor Diane Mather

Professor - Plant Breeding and Genetics

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

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


Prof Diane Mather is the J.A.T. Mortlock Chair of Crop Improvement in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. She and her group conduct molecular genetic research in crop plants, especially wheat and barley. She leads GRDC-supported research projects that aim to develop molecular markers for cereal breeding and to isolate cereal genes that confer resistance against parasitic nematodes. She oversees the molecular breeding operations of Durum Breeding Australia.

My research investigates the genetic control of economically important traits in crop plants and develops molecular tools for plant breeding. Recently, we have made some significant advances on the resistance of wheat and barley against soil-borne parasitic nematodes and on several  grain quality traits. We are also working on resistance against fungal pathogens and exploring applications of molecular genetics in almond and other plant species. Our core strengths are in relating genotype to phenotype and in translating research results to outcomes that are useful for plant breeding.

Currently, we mainly use genotyping-by-sequencing to discover DNA polymorphisms and KASP technology to assay polymorphisms. Our laboratory operates a complete SNPLine platform, so is very well-equipped for high-throughput assays of SNP and InDel polymorphisms. We do not offer service genotyping but we welcome proposals for collaborative research.

PhD and MPhil opportunities are available - but only for highly qualified students who are able to secure a scholarship from the University of Adelaide or another source. If you are interested, please send me your cv and unofficial transcripts

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 - 2016 Deputy Head of School (Research) University of Adelaide
    2014 J.A.T. Mortlock Chair in Crop Improvement University of Adelaide
    2005 Professor University of Adelaide
    2002 - 2004 Professor McGill University
    2002 - 2003 Visiting Professor University of Adelaide
    1997 - 2004 Associate Dean (Research) McGill University
    1994 - 2002 Associate Professor McGill University
    1994 - 1995 Visiting Associate Professor Oregon State University
    1988 - 1994 Assistant Professor McGill University
    1982 - 1983 Guest Research Fellow Riso National Laboratory
    1978 - 1980 Quality Control Supervisor United Cooperatives of Ontario
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    French Can read, speak and understand spoken
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1983 - 1988 University of Guelph Canada PhD
    1980 - 1982 University of Guelph Canada MSc
    1973 - 1978 McGill University Canada BSc(Agr)
  • Research Interests

Most of my research is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). With support from GRDC, I lead a national molecular program that develops molecular markers for use in wheat and barley breeding and a research project aimed at isolating nematode resistance genes in wheat and barley and mapping nematode resistance loci in chickpea. I also oversee molecular breeding activities in the GRDC-funded Durum Breeding Australia program.

I coordinate postgraduate coursework programs in Plant Biotechnology and I contribute to teaching in the following courses:

  • Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology in the Food and Wine Industries
  • Plant Breeding
  • Foundations of Plant Biotechnology
  • Molecular Plant Breeding
  • Regulatory Approval for GM Plants

Complete list of PhD, Masters and Honours students supervised

Principal supervisor or co-supervisor of seven current students

Student

Program University Principal supervisor
Christopher Hakachite PhD The University of Adelaide Rachel Burton
Kara Levin PhD The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Caitlin Thompson Honours The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Bart Van Gansbeke PhD The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Jacinta Watkins PhD Australian National University Barry Pogson
Past students supervised or co-supervised
Student Program Year Thesis title University Principal supervisor
Xiujuan Yang PhD 2018 Roles of a glutamyl-tRNA synthetase in controlling early anther development in rice The University of Adelaide Dabing Zhang
Christopher Hakachite PhD 2018 Analysis of cereal cyst nematode resistance in barley The University of Adelaide Rachel Burton
Sujan Kafle MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2017

Interaction of Pratylenchus neglectus with the roots of resistant and susceptible wheat plants

The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Shashi Goonetilleke PhD 2017 Genetic analysis of reproductive and nut traits in almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.)D.A. Webb)] The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Jonathan Djietror PhD 2016 Characterisation of glutamine synthase loci to map new regulatory loci modulating nitrogen use efficiency in hexaploid wheat The University of Adelaide Ken Chalmers
Xuan Phuoc Nguyen MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2016 Intergenomic SNPs reveal putative spontaneous chromosome interchanges between chromosomes 7A and 7D of wheat The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Haipei Liu PhD 2016 Genome-wide characterisation of microRNAs and their target genes in different durum wheat genotypes under water limiting conditions The University of Adelaide Jason Able
Netsanet Kumsa MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2015

Analysis of the Cre8 region of wheat chromosome 6B reveals a callose synthase gene as a candidate for resistance against cereal cyst nematode

The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Hamid Shirdelmoghanloo PhD 2015 Genetic and physiological studies of heat tolerance in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)  The University of Adelaide Nick Collins
Sie Chuong Wong PhD 2015 Regulation of (1,3;1,4)-beta-glucan synthesis in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) endosperm and leaf tissues The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Domenico Deserio MAgricSci 2014 Evaluating populations derived from complex crosses involving both bread wheat and durum wheat parentage for partial resistance to crown rot The University of Adelaide Jason Able
Dimanthi Jayatilake PhD 2014 Fine mapping of nematode resistance genes Rlnn1 and Cre8 in wheat (Triticum aestivum) The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Hang Liu MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2014 Validation and fine mapping of loci for resistance against leaf scald in barley The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Julien Bonneau PhD 2013 Genetic analysis of a region associated with heat and drought tolerance on chromosome 3B of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) The University of Adelaide and Université Blaise Pascal Peter Langridge
Lance Maphosa PhD 2013 Genetic control of grain quality in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown under a range of environmental conditions The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Jessika Aditya Honours 2012 Characterisation of barley roots responses to infection by Heterodera avenae Woll The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Samar Al-Zaidi MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2012 Development of PCR-based markers for stem rust resistance genes introgressed from rye chromosome 1RS into wheat’ The University of Adelaide Ian Dundas
Xin Gao PhD 2012 Identification and characterisation of a novel glutenin subunit in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Salum Hamad MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2012 Genetic variation within two Australian durum cultivars The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Chih-Fang Hu MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2012 Refining the Pratylenchus thornei resistance QTL regions of allohexaploid bread whea The University of Adelaide Kelvin Khoo
Shaista Shafiq PhD 2012 Reproductive frost tolerance in field pea (Pisum sativum L.) The University of Adelaide Jeff Paull
K. Ryan Walker PhD 2012 Regulation of candidate genes in black point formation in barley’ The University of Adelaide Amanda Able
Sana Yousif MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2012 Mapping and transcriptional analysis of a candidate gene for lutein esterification in wheat The University of Adelaide Ming Li
Muhammad Shefatur Rahman MAgricSci 2011 Genetic control of sodium exclusion in tetraploid wheat The University of Adelaide Ken Chalmers
Stephen Talbot MAgricSci 2011 Introgression of genetic material from primary synthetic hexaploids into an Australian bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Chi Mai Do MBiotech (Plant Biotech) 2010 Molecular markers for resistance to powdery mildew in the Vlamingh x Buloke doubled haploid barley population The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Tamara Huber Honours 2010 Genetic variation in wheat gluten proteins implicated in coeliac disease The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Bao-Lam Huynh PhD 2008 Genetic characterization and QTL mapping for grain fructan in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) The University of Adelaide Diane Mather
Jerôme Bernier PhD 2008 Identification and characterization of quantitative trait loci for drought resistance in upland rice (Oryza sativa L.) The University of Adelaide Dean Spaner
Anissa Lӱbaert PhD 2006 Sequence and gene expression variability in cultivars of oat (Avena sativa L.) McGill University Diane Mather
Annie Claessens PhD 2005 Direct and indirect response to divergent phenotypic selection for fiber traits in timothy (Phleum pratense L.) McGill University Diane Mather
Shaolin Liu PhD 2005 Oligonucleotides applied in genomics, bioinformatics and development of molecular markers for rice and barley McGill University Diane Mather
Micheline Ayoub PhD 2002 Application and development of genome maps in barley McGill University Diane Mather
Daniel Presello PhD 2001 Maize diseases in eastern Canada: Studies on breeding for resistance to Fusarium spp. and on the occurrence of maize viruses McGill University Diane Mather
Tina Wambach MSc 2001  Effect of gene interaction on the quality of QTL parameter estimates McGill University Diane Mather
Liqun Xing PhD 1999 Marker density, marker distribution and QTL-by-environment interaction in QTL mapping’ McGill University Diane Mather
Nadia Campeol MSc 1998 Detection of markers in a low density region of the barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genome and their effects on the mapping of quantitative traits McGill University  Diane Mather and Marc Fortin
Gert Jan (Garry) Hoekstra PhD 1998 Expression and inheritance of the fatuoid character and the naked-grained character in oat (Avena sativa L.) McGill University Diane Mather
Nenad Krsikapa MSc 1997 Variation for resistance to Fusarium graminearum ear rot in selfed families of the corn population Zapalote Chico McGill University Diane Mather
Christian Azar MSc 1996 Characterization of white floury corn (Zea mays L.) landraces of Ontario McGill University Diane Mather
Jocelyn Mendez MSc 1996 ‘Comparison of photoperiod-sensitive and photoperiod-insensitive oat genotypes McGill University Diane Mather
Dean Spaner PhD 1996 Maize (Zea mays L.) production in Trinidad and Tobago: Development, agronomic and breeding perspectives McGill University Diane Mather
Chibwe Chungu PhD 1995 Maize resistance to infection by Fusarium graminearum: Mechanisms and inheritance McGill University Diane Mather
Florentina Kusmiyati MSc 1995 Pubescence in red clover: its inheritance and its relationship to potato leafhopper resistance McGill University Bruce Coulman and Diane Mather
D. Gavin Humphreys PhD 1994 A study of agronomic, genetic and environmental influences on oat (Avena sativa L.) grain quality McGill University Diane Mather
Djavad Shateryan MSc 1994 Evaluation of three cycles of recurrent phenotypic selection for forage yield in orchardgrass and timothy McGill University Bruce Coulman and Diane Mather
Nicholas Tinker PhD 1993 Studies on the analysis of genetic markers and quantitative trait loci in plant breeding populations McGill University Diane Mather
Jiajing Qian MSc 1992 Effects of Hordeum vulgare and Hordeum bulbosum genotypes, seed age, culture methods and plant growth regulators on barley haploid production McGill University Diane Mather
Dean Spaner MSc 1992 Agronomic evaluation of short season Quality Protein Maize McGill University Diane Mather
Lana Reid PhD 1991 Resistance of maize silk to Fusarium graminearum’ McGill University Diane Mather

 

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 Principal Supervisor Resistance of Cereal Crops Against Cereal Cyst Nematodes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Kara Ann Levin
    2014 Principal Supervisor Genetic Control of Resistance Against Cereal Cyst Nematide in Barley Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Bart Jos Paul Van Gansbeke
    2013 Co-Supervisor Analysis of Genes Involved in Cereal Cyst Nematode Resistance in Barley Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Christopher Hakachite
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Roles of a Glutamyl-tRNA Synthetase in Controlling Early Anther Development in Rice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Xiujuan Yang
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Characterisation of Glutamine Synthetase to Map New Regulatory Loci Modulating Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Hexaploid Wheat Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jonathan Castel Djietror
    2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Genetic Analysis of Reproductive and Nut Traits in Almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Shashi Goonetilleke
    2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Evaluating populations derived from complex crosses involving both bread wheat and durum wheat parentage for partial resistance to crown rot Master of Agricultural Science Master Full Time Mr Domenico Deserio
    2012 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Genome-wide Characterisation of microRNAs and their target genes in different durum wheat genotypes under water limiting conditions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Haipei Liu
    2011 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Fine Mapping of Nematode Resistance Genes Rlnn1 and Cre8 in Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Dimanthi Vihanga Jayatilake
    2011 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Genetic and physiological studies of heat tolerance in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Hamid Shirdelmoghanloo
    2010 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Reproductive Frost Tolerance in Field Pea (Pisum Sativum L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Shaista Shafiq
    2010 - 2011 Principal Supervisor Introgression of Genetic Material from Primary Synthetic Hexaploids into an Australian Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Master of Agricultural Science Master Full Time Mr Stephen Talbot
    2009 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Genetic Control of Grain Quality In Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Grown Under a Range of Environmental Conditions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Lancelot Maphosa
    2009 - 2011 Co-Supervisor Genetic Control of Sodium Exclusion in Tetraploid Wheat Master of Agricultural Science Master Full Time Mr Muhammad Shefatur Rahman
    2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Genetic Analysis of a Region Associated with Heat and Drought Tolerance on Chromosome 3B of Hexaploid Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Doctor of Philosophy under a Cotutelle Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Mr Julien Bonneau
    2009 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Regulation of (1,3;1,4)-beta-glucan synthesis in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) endosperm and leaf tissues Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sie Chuong Wong
    2008 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Identification and Characterisation of a Novel Glutenin Subunit in Bread Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Xin Gao
    2005 - 2009 Principal Supervisor Genetic Characterization and QTL Mapping for Grain Fructan in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Bao Huynh
    2005 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Regulation of Candidate Genes in Black Point Formation in Barley Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Kerry Walker
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2010 - ongoing Member Advisory Board, Pulse Breeding Australia Australia
    2010 - 2011 Member Advisory Board, Barley Breeding Australia Australia
    2009 - 2010 Vice-Chair University Academic Board The University of Adelaide Australia
    2006 - 2011 Member Scientific Advisory Board, Barley Coordinated Agricultural Project United States
    2006 - 2010 Member University Academic Board The University of Adelaide Australia
    2003 - 2004 Member University Senate McGill University Canada
    1999 - 2002 Member Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site Advisory Council Canada
    1997 - 2002 Member Conseil exécutif, Conseil des recherches en pêche et en agroalimentaire du Québec Canada
    1997 - 1999 Member Board of Directors, Morgan Arboretum Association Canada
    1993 - 1995 Member Board of Directors, SeCan Association Canada
    1992 - 1994 Member Advisory Board, McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women McGill University Canada
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Chair School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Research Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 - ongoing Member School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Executive Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 - ongoing Member School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Management Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 - 2014 Member Waite Research Institute Scientific Advisory Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 - 2014 Member School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Research Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2011 - 2015 Member School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Learning and Teaching Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2011 - 2015 Chair Program Committee, Postgraduate programs in Plant Biotechnology The University of Adelaide Australia
    2008 - 2010 Member Adelaide management group Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Australia
    2007 - ongoing Member Program Committee, Postgraduate programs in Plant Biotechnology The University of Adelaide Australia
    2006 - 2012 Member Biological and Health Science Level-E promotions sub-committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2005 - 2006 Member School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Information Technology Committee The University of Adelaide Canada
    2004 - 2004 Member University Laboratory Safety Committee McGill University Canada
    2003 - 2003 Member Steering Committee of University Task Force on Research Administration McGill University Canada
    2003 - 2004 Member University Senate Nominating Committee McGill University Canada
    2003 - 2004 Member University Joint Senate/Board of Governors Committee on Technology Transfer McGill University Canada
    2002 - 2004 Member University Tenure Committee for Recruitment McGill University Canada
    2001 - 2003 Member University Radiation Safety Committee McGill University Canada
    2001 - 2002 Chair Task Force on the Faculty and Committee Structure for Graduate Studies McGill University Canada
    2001 - 2002 Member Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Prizes and Awards Committee McGill University Canada
    2000 - 2002 Member University Planning and Priorities Task Force on Staff Renewal McGill University Canada
    1999 - 2004 Member Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Scholarships Committee McGill University Canada
    1999 - 2001 Member Strategic Projects Panel - Biotechnology and Biosciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada
    1997 - 2000 Member Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Executive Committee McGill University Canada
    1997 - 2000 Chair University Research Policy Committee McGill University Canada
    1997 - 2004 Member Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Executive Committee McGill University Canada
    1997 - 2004 Member Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Promotions Committee McGill University Canada
    1997 - 2004 Member Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences International Development Committee McGill University Canada
    1996 - 1997 Member University Research Policy Committee McGill University Canada
    1996 - 1997 Member Comité d’évaluation, Programme en partenariat, Conseil des recherches en pêche et en agroalimentaire du Québec Canada
    1995 - 1998 Member University Bookstore Committee McGill University Canada
    1995 - 1998 Member Comité maïs, Conseil des productions végétales du Québec Canada
    1994 - 2004 Member Steering Committee, North American Barley Genome Mapping Project United States
    1994 - 1994 Chair Conference organising committee, NE Branch American,Society of Agronomy NE Branch of American Society of Agronomy
    1993 - 1995 Member Research Committee, SeCan Association Canada
    1992 - 1993 Member University Senate Committee on Libraries McGill University Canada
    1991 - 1994 Chair Eastern Expert Committee on Cereals and Oilseeds Canada
    1991 - 1994 Member Advisory Committee on Variety Registration in Canada Canada
    1991 - 1994 Member Canada Committee on Crop Production Services Canada
    1991 - 1991 Member Convention Organising Committee, Canadian Seed Growers Association Canada
    1990 - 1993 Chair Macdonald Campus Library Committee McGill University Canada
    1990 - 1994 Member Eastern Expert Committee on Cereals and Oilseeds Canada
    1989 - 1991 Chair Comité des céréales, Conseil des productions végétales du Québec Canada
    1989 - 1989 Member Conference Organising Committee, Agricultural Institute of Canada Canada
    1988 - 1993 Member Macdonald Campus Library Advisory Committee McGill University Canada
    1988 - 2004 Member Quebec Stock Seed Distribution Committee, Canadian Seed Growers Association Canada
    1988 - 2004 Member Comité des céréales, Conseil des productions végétales du Québec Canada
    1988 - 2004 Member Breeding and Biotechnology Subcommittee, Eastern Expert Committee on Cereals and Oilseeds Canada
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2006 - ongoing Board Member Theoretical and Applied Genetics: international journal of plant breeding research
    1996 - 1998 Associate Editor Crop Science: a journal serving the international community of crop scientists
    1993 - 1998 Editor Barley Genetics Newsletter
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2005 - 2007 Program Leader, Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre Australia
    2000 - 2001 Chair, CSSA Cell and Molecular Biology Division Crop Science Society of America United States
  • Position: Professor - Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Phone: 83137156
  • Email: diane.mather@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 7102
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Genomics Centre, floor 1
  • Room: 1 21
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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