University Research Fellow
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Faculty of Sciences
My current research focus is the genetics and physiology of heat tolerance in wheat. I also have expertise in cereal tolerance to other abiotic stresses and resistance to viral and fungal diseases.
My background is in cereal molecular genetics, with a particular strength in positional cloning of genes for useful traits, to generate basic knowledge and breeding tools. After completing a PhD on barley yellow dwarf virus at the University of Adelaide, I worked on rust resistance at CSIRO and durable resistance to powdery mildew in the Sainsbury Laboratory UK. In 2003, I moved back to Adelaide to join the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics where I have worked on tolerance to frost, salinity, boron toxicity, aluminium toxicity and heat.
I currently lead a research group working on heat tolerance in wheat within the University of Adelaide. The main focus is on the effects of the short heat waves that commonly occur during the sensitive reproductive developmental stages of the crop, in Southern Australia and many other parts of the world. These events cause failed grain set (floret sterility) when the heat occurs prior to head emergence, or reduced final grain size when the heat occurs at early grain filling.
We use growth chambers to apply heat treatments at particular developmental stages and combine these data with molecular marker information (such as DArTseq) to identify chromosome regions controlling variation for heat tolerance. This information is being used to develop molecular markers to enable breeders to more effectively select new heat tolerant varieties. We also conduct field trials in collaboration NSW-DPI, where late sowing is used to expose plots to late season heat stress. With my collaborators at NSW-DPI, we are also investigating the effects of heat on end-use quality traits relating to bread and pasta making.
Our work also aims to uncover basic knowledge of mechanisms of heat tolerance effects, by undertaking physiological, anatomical and ‘omics studies, in addition to positional cloning of the underlying heat tolerance genes.
|Date||Project/ No.||Investigators||Title||Funding Body|
|2011-2014||UA00123||Collins NC, Emebiri L, Parent B, Street K, Sissons M, Taylor H||Identification of genetic variation for heat tolerance in durum and bread wheat||GRDC|
|2015-2020||LP15010069||Baumann U, Haefele S, Collins N, Praud S||
Exploring genetic diversity to identify new heat tolerance genes in wheat.
|2015-2018||UA00147||Collins N, Emebiri L, Sissons M, Taylor J, Taylor H,||Genetic analysis of heat tolerance in wheat||GRDC|
|2016-2018||AISRF33760||Fleury D, Collins N, Baumann U, Haefele S||Mining alleles for heat tolerance of wheat in Australian and Indian environments for development of heat resilient cultivars||AISRF|
|2015-2020||IH130200027||Fleury D, Baumann U, Borysyuk N, Collins N, Haefele S, Kaiser B, Langridge P, Miklavcic S, Appelbee M-J, Juttner J, Kuchel H, Mullen D||Genetic diversity and molecular breeding for wheat in a hot and dry climate||ARC|
|2015-2018||56114781||Haefele S, Barrett-Lennard E, Collins N, Roy S, Heuer S, Nield J, Smart K, Cox A, Setter T||Production trials to assess the differences between the biodiversity associated with the tolerance of wheat and barley GMOs||Western Australian Agriculture Authority|
|Date||Course Title||Institution||Course Level/ Code||Contribution per year|
|2007-2012||Masters in Plant Genomics||University of Adelaide||2710_PLANT_SC_7227WT||one 2-hr lecture|
|2011||Masters in Molecular Diagnostics||University of Adelaide||PLANT_SC_7120WT||one 2-hr lecture and ran one tutorial|
|2016||Foundations in Plant Science||University of Adelaide||mentor to 5 students|
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