Jason Able

Associate Professor Jason Able

Head - Department of Agricultural Science

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

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


Jason is Head, Department of Agricultural Science and also leads the southern node of the national breeding program - Durum Breeding Australia.

Jason's other research interests centre on micro RNAs (miRNAs) and their role in enhancing crop productivity (through either stress adaptation and/or reproductive fitness); and understanding the molecular mechanisms that control meiosis in bread and durum wheat.

The durum wheat breeding program at the Waite (Durum Breeding Australia - Southern Node) is focussed on developing new durum wheat varieties for our ever-changing environments and an ever-expanding market. This program is a joint initiative between the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GDRC), NSW DPI, and the University of Adelaide. Jason released his first variety in 2014 (DBA Aurora), and his second in 2018 (DBA Spes); while he played an important role in also releasing WID802 and Yawa (both 2012). DBA Aurora is currently the leading durum variety across Australia, dominating market share in the Southern region of Australia (SA, VIC). Jason and his team have over the years developed excellent collaborative linkages with many colleagues, including: Professor Diane Mather (University of Adelaide), Professor Amanda Able (University of Adelaide), Dr Mike Sissons (NSW DPI), Professor Carla Ceoloni (University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy) and Professor Graham Moore (John Innes Centre, UK). Jason is actively engaged with durum stakeholders across Australia and around the globe. Key stakeholders nationally include Durum Growers, Southern Australia Durum Growers Association (SADGA), GRDC, SAGIT, San Remo Macaroni Company Pty Ltd, MAURI anz, Mellco and Glencore.

Funding for the durum breeding program and closely aligned research is primarily from the GRDC, SAGIT and San Remo Macaroni Pty Ltd. Since 2013, Jason has been awarded grants worth in excess of $18,000,000. Below is a selection of some of the major projects he is involved in:

  1. 2018-2021 University of Adelaide (UA) chief investigator (CI) for a category-1 GRDC tender named ‘Improving Australian malt barley flavour to address Chinese brewing requirements’. Industry partners include Coopers and Glencore. A total of $1,177,154 over 3 years has been awarded.
  2. 2018-2019 UA CI for a category-1 GRDC tender named ‘Advancing Profitable Farming Systems – Frost Risk Management’. A total of $385,900 over 2 years has been awarded.
  3. 2017-2019 UA CI for a category-1 GRDC tender named ‘Durum Breeding Australia (DBA)’. A total of $2,500,000 over 2 years has been awarded.
  4. 2017-2020 UA CI for a category-1 SAGIT grant entitled: ‘Enhanced N-use efficiency in durum through improved genetics’. A total of $199,084 over three years has been awarded.

Jason coordinates the third year elective Plant Breeding III and lectures the majority of this course. He also contributes to components of the third year courses, Plant Biotechnology III and Professional Skills in Agricultural Science III. Jason also lectures to first and second year science undergraduates in the Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) covering the broad area of plant biotechnology ("Introduction to Biotechnology I" and "Principles of Biotechnology II"). Since 2011, Jason has coordinated and led the 3rd year undergraduate field trip that explores the agricultural systems in and around South-East QLD. Between 2012-2016 (inclusive) Jason was the program coordinator for the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences.

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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 Co-Supervisor Regulation of Ripening Mechanisms in Capsicum Fruit Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sijia Guo
    2013 Co-Supervisor Developing Selection Tools in Wheat Breeding for Adaptation to Southern Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Paul Robert Telfer
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2012 - 2014 Principal 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 Principal 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
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Understanding the physiological mechanisms of ripening in capsicum Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Wan Mohd Aizat Wan Kamaruddin
    2007 - 2011 Principal Supervisor An Investigation of Bread Wheat Meiosis via Proteomics and Gene-targeted Approaches: the Isolation and Characterisation of Four Meiotic Proteins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Kelvin Khoo
    2007 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Isolation and Characterisation of Wheat Genes with Early Meiotic Expression Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hayley Jolly
    2005 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Investigating Chromosome Pairing in Bread Wheat Using ASYNAPSIS I Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Scott Boden
    2005 - 2009 Principal Supervisor Whole Genome Approaches to Identify Genes Involved in Early Meiosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Wayne Crismani
    2005 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Regulation of Candidate Genes in Black Point Formation in Barley Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Kerry Walker
    2004 - 2008 Co-Supervisor The Genetic Basis of Barley Black Point Formation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Timothy March
    2002 - 2007 Co-Supervisor Linked Disequilibrium Analysis of Hexaploid Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Sherri Kruger
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2017 - ongoing Board Member Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation Australia
    2014 - 2016 Board Member Agricultural Bureau of South Australia Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2014 - ongoing Vice-Chair International Expert Working Group Durum Genomics & Breeding Global
    2011 - ongoing Member Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC) Commonwealth Government's Department of Health Australia
  • Position: Head - Department of Agricultural Science
  • Phone: 83137075
  • Email: jason.able@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 7109
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Waite, floor GN
  • Room: GN 05
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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