Associate Professor Jason Able

Jason Able
Head - Department of Agricultural Science
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Faculty of Sciences

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.

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Associate Professor Jason Able

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), while he played an important role in also releasing WID802 and Yawa (both 2012). Jason and his team have developed excellent collaborative linkages with Professor Diane Mather (University of Adelaide), Professor Amanda Able (University of Adelaide), Dr Mike Sissons (NSW DPI), Professor Graham Moore (John Innes Centre, UK), and Professor Sanjay Kapoor (University of Delhi South Campus, India). Jason is actively engaged with durum stakeholders across Australia. Key stakeholders include Durum Growers, Southern Australia Durum Growers Association (SADGA), GRDC, SAGIT, San Remo Macaroni Pty Ltd, MAURI anz, Mellco, Glencore and AMPS Agribusiness.


Date Position Institution name
2016 Associate Professor in Plant Breeding (Continuing) University of Adelaide
2013 - 2015 Senior Lecturer in Plant Breeding (Continuing) University of Adelaide
2010 - 2012 Lecturer in Plant Breeding (Tenurable) University of Adelaide
2005 - 2010 MPB CRC & UA Research Fellow (Fixed-Term Contract) University of Adelaide
2002 - 2004 GRDC Post-Doctoral Fellow (Fixed-Term Contract) University of Adelaide
2001 - 2001 CSIRO Post-Doctoral Fellow CSIRO


Date Institution name Country Title
1997 - 2001 University of Queensland Australia PhD


Agricultural Biotechnology, Agriculture, Crop and Pasture Improvement, Crop and Pasture Production, Genetically Modified Field Crops and Pasture, Genetically Modified Horticulture Plants, Genetically Modified Trees, Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology


Date Citation
2017 Dong,B, Zheng,X, Liu,H, Able,J, Yang,H, Zhao,H, Zhang,M, Qiao,Y, Wang,Y, Liu,M et al, 2017, Effects of drought stress on pollen sterility, grain yield, abscisic acid and protective enzymes in two winter wheat cultivars, Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, - 10.3389/fpls.2017.01008
2017 Liu,H, Able,A, Able,J, 2017, Genotypic water-deficit stress responses in durum wheat: Association between physiological traits, microRNA regulatory modules and yield components, Functional Plant Biology, 44, 5, 538-551 10.1071/FP16294
2017 Gilliham,M, Able,J, Roy,S, 2017, Translating knowledge about abiotic stress tolerance to breeding programmes, Plant Journal, 90, 5, - 10.1111/tpj.13456
2017 Liu,H, Able,A, Able,J, 2017, Water-deficit stress-responsive microRNAs and their targets in four durum wheat genotypes, Functional and Integrative Genomics, 17, 2-3, 237-251 10.1007/s10142-016-0515-y
2016 Liu,H, Able,A, Able,J, 2016, SMARTER De-Stressed Cereal Breeding, Trends in Plant Science, 21, 11, 909-925 10.1016/j.tplants.2016.07.006
2015 Liu,H, Searle,IR, Mather,DE, Able,AJ, Able,JA, 2015, Morphological, physiological and yield responses of durum wheat to pre-anthesis water-deficit stress are genotype-dependent, Crop and Pasture Science, 66, 10, 1024-1038 10.1071/CP15013
2015 Liu,H, Searle,IR, Watson-Haigh,NS, Baumann,U, Mather,DE, Able,AJ, Able,JA, 2015, Genome-Wide Identification of MicroRNAs in Leaves and the Developing Head of Four Durum Genotypes during Water Deficit Stress., PLoS One, 10, 11, e0142799- 10.1371/journal.pone.0142799
2014 Aizat,W, Dias,D, Stangoulis,J, Able,J, Roessner,U, Able,A, 2014, Metabolomics of capsicum ripening reveals modification of the ethylene related-pathway and carbon metabolism, Postharvest Biology and Technology, 89, 19-31 10.1016/j.postharvbio.2013.11.004
2014 Able,JA, Sissons,M, 2014, Durum wheat for the future: challenges, research and prospects in the 21st Century, Crop and Pasture Science, 65, 1, i-i 10.1071/CPv65n1_FO
2014 Al-Fahdawi,MS, Able,JA, Evans,M, Able,AJ, 2014, Response of durum wheat to different levels of zinc and Fusarium pseudograminearum, Crop and Pasture Science, 65, 1, 61-73 10.1071/CP13306
2013 Wan Kamaruddin,W, Able,J, Stangoulis,J, Able,A, 2013, Proteomic analysis during capsicum ripening reveals differential expression of ACC oxidase isoform 4 and other candidates, Functional Plant Biology, 40, 11, 1115-1128 10.1071/FP12330
2013 Aizat,W, Able,J, Stangoulis,J, Able,A, 2013, Characterisation of ethylene pathway components in non-climacteric capsicum, BMC Plant Biology, 13, 191, 1-14 10.1186/1471-2229-13-191
2012 Khoo,K, Able,A, Able,J, 2012, Poor homologous synapsis 1 interacts with chromatin but does not colocalise with ASYnapsis 1 during early meiosis in bread wheat, International Journal of Plant Genomics, 2012, 514398, 1-11 10.1155/2012/514398
2012 Khoo,K, Able,A, Able,J, 2012, The isolation and characterisation of the wheat molecular ZIPper I homologue, TaZYP1, BMC Research Notes, 5, 1, 1-13 10.1186/1756-0500-5-106
2012 Khoo,K, Able,A, Chataway,T, Able,J, 2012, Preliminary characterisation of two early meiotic wheat proteins after identification through 2D gel electrophoresis proteomics, Functional Plant Biology, 39, 3, 222-235 10.1071/FP11253
2011 Deveshwar,P, Bovill,W, Sharma,R, Able,J, Kapoor,S, 2011, Analysis of anther transcriptomes to identify genes contributing to meiosis and male gametophyte development in rice, BMC Plant Biology, 11, 1, 1-20 10.1186/1471-2229-11-78
2011 Crismani,W, Kapoor,S, Able,J, 2011, Comparative transcriptomics reveals 129 transcripts that are temporally regulated during anther development and meiotic progression in both bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rice (Oryza sativa), International Journal of Plant Genomics, 2011, 1-9 10.1155/2011/931898
2009 Able,J, Crismani,W, Boden,S, 2009, Understanding meiosis and the implications for crop improvement, Functional Plant Biology, 36, 7, 575-588 10.1071/FP09068
2009 Bovill,W, Deveshwar,P, Kapoor,S, Able,J, 2009, Whole genome approaches to identify early meiotic gene candidates in cereals, Functional & Integrative Genomics, 9, 2, 219-229 10.1007/s10142-008-0097-4
2009 Boden,S, Langridge,P, Spangenberg,G, Able,J, 2009, TaASY1 promotes homologous chromosome interactions and is affected by deletion of Ph1, Plant Journal, 57, 3, 487-497 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03701.x
2008 Khoo,K, Jolly,H, Able,J, 2008, The RAD51 gene family in bread wheat is highly conserved across eukaryotes, with RAD51A upregulated during early meiosis, Functional Plant Biology, 35, 12, 1267-1277 10.1071/FP08203
2008 Walker,K, Able,J, Mather,D, Able,A, 2008, Black point formation in barley: environmental influences and quantitative trait loci, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 59, 11, 1021-1029 10.1071/AR08074
2008 March,T, Able,J, Willsmore,K, Schultz,C, Able,A, 2008, Comparative mapping of a QTL controlling black point formation in barley, Functional Plant Biology, 35, 5, 427-437 10.1071/FP08089
2007 Boden,S, Shadiac,N, Tucker,E, Langridge,P, Able,J, 2007, Expression and functional analysis of TaASY1 during meiosis of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), BMC Molecular Biology, 8, 65, 1-14 10.1186/1471-2199-8-65
2007 Whitford,R, Baumann,U, Sutton,T, Gumaelius,L, Wolters,P, Tingey,S, Able,J, Langridge,P, 2007, Identification of transposons, retroelements, and a gene family predominantly expressed in floral tissues in chromosome 3DS of the hexaploid wheat progenitor Aegilops tauschii, Functional & Integrative Genomics, 7, 1, 37-52 10.1007/s10142-006-0026-3
2007 March,T, Able,J, Schultz,C, Able,A, 2007, A novel late embryogenesis abundant protein and peroxidase associated with black point in barley grains, Proteomics, 7, 20, 3800-3808 10.1002/pmic.200700456
2007 Able,J, Langridge,P, Milligan,A, 2007, Capturing diversity in the cereals: many options but little promiscuity, Trends in Plant Science, 12, 2, 71-79 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.12.002
2007 Lloyd,A, Milligan,A, Langridge,P, Able,J, 2007, TaMSH7: A cereal mismatch repair gene that affects fertility in transgenic barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), BMC Plant Biology, 7, 67, WWW 1-WWW 9 10.1186/1471-2229-7-67
2006 Able,J, Langridge,P, 2006, Wild sex in the grasses, Trends in Plant Science, 11, 6, 261-263 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.04.004
2006 Crismani,W, Baumann,U, Sutton,T, Shirley,N, Webster,T, Spangenberg,G, Langridge,P, Able,J, 2006, Microarray expression analysis of meiosis and microsporogenesis in hexaploid bread wheat, BMC Genomics, 7, 267, 1-17 10.1186/1471-2164-7-267
2005 Able,J, 2005, Digging for DNA Diamonds, Australasian Science, 26, 7, 20-21
2005 Dong,C, Thomas,S, Becker,D, Lorz,H, Whitford,R, Sutton,T, Able,J, Langridge,P, 2005, WM5: Isolation and characterisation of a gene expressed during early meiosis and shoot meristem development in wheat, Functional Plant Biology, 32, 3, 249-258 10.1071/FP04198
2004 Reddall,A, Ali,A, Able,J, Stonor,J, Tesoriero,L, Wright,P, Rezaian,M, Wilson,L, 2004, Cotton bunchy top: an aphid and graft transmitted cotton disease, Australasian Plant Pathology, 33, 2, 197-202 10.1071/AP03094
2003 Sutton,T, Whitford,R, Baumann,U, Dong,C, Able,J, Langridge,P, 2003, The Ph2 pairing homoeologous locus of wheat (Triticum aestivum): identification of candidate meiotic genes using a comparative genetics approach, Plant Journal, 36, 4, 443-456 10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01891.x
2001 Reddall,A, Able,J, Stonor,J, Heimoana,S, Tesoriero,L, Wright,P, Wilson,L, Rezaian,M, 2001, Hunting down the cause of Cotton Bunchy Top (CBT), The Australian Cottongrower, 28, 8-10
2001 Able,J, Rathus,C, Godwin,I, 2001, The investigation of optimal bombardment parameters for transient and stable transgene expression in sorghum, In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-plant, 37, 3, 341-348 10.1007/s11627-001-0061-7

Book Chapters

Date Citation
2004 Rathus,C, Nguyen,T, Able,J, Gray,S, Godwin,I, 2004, Optimising sorghum transformation technology via somatic embryogenesis, Science Publishers Ltd, USA, pp. 25-34
2004 Able,J, Carroll,B, Rathus,C, Godwin,I, 2004, Enhancing transgene expression in sorghum: current status and future goals, Science Publishers Ltd, Enfield, NH, pp. 85-96

Conference Papers

Date Citation
2005 March,T, Schultz,C, Able,J, Able,A, 2005, Finding proteins involved with black point of barley using proteomics, Australian Barley Technical Symposium (Hobart, Tasmania), Hobart, Tasmania
2004 March,T, Lahnstein,J, Schultz,C, Able,J, Able,A, 2004, Using a proteomics approach to unravel the biochemical mechanisms of barley black point symptom development, ComBio, Perth
2004 Sutton,T, Whitford,R, Baumann,U, Able,J, Lazo,G, Langridge,P, 2004, Genomics approaches to identify meiotic genes in wheat, Plant & Animal Genomes Conference, San Diego, CA

Plant Breeder's Rights

Date Citation
2014 Able,J; 2014; DBA-Aurora


Date Citation
2015 Liu,H, Searle,I, Watson-Haigh,, Baumann,, Mather,DE, Able,AJ, Able,JA; 2015; Genome-wide identification of differentially expressed microRNAs in leaves and the developing head of four durum genotypes during water deficit stress
2006 Able,JA; 2006; Microarray expression analysis of meiosis and microsporogenesis in hexaploid bread wheat

Funding for the durum breeding program and closely aligned research is primarily from the GRDC, SAGIT and San Remo Macaroni Pty Ltd. Since 2011, Jason has been awarded grants worth in excess of $15,000,000.

Jason coordinates the third year elective Plant Breeding III and lectures the majority of this course. 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.

Since 2004, 13 Honours Students have graduated under Jason's supervision (eight of these students received a 1st Class Honours). In addition, and since 2012, three Masters (MSc) students have graduated under Jason's supervision (two of these as principal supervisor). Furthermore, there have been nine PhD students who have graduated under Jason's supervision since 2007 (with six of these as the principal supervisor).

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2014 Vice-Chair International Expert Working Group Durum Genomics & Breeding Global
2011 Member Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC) Commonwealth Government's Department of Health Australia

Board Memberships

Date Role Board name Institution name Country
2017 Board Member Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation Australia
2014 - 2016 Board Member Agricultural Bureau of South Australia Australia
Head - Department of Agricultural Science
8313 7109
Waite Building
Room Number
GN 10b
Org Unit
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine