Penny Tricker

Dr Penny Tricker

Senior Lecturer

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

My research focuses on understanding the signatures of drought and heat tolerance in the genomes and epigenomes of wheat, barley and grapevine, including: association studies for loci underlying combined drought and heat tolerance of wheat, the transgenerational epigenetic regulation of the genome in response to abiotic stress, post-transcriptional regulation of barley gene expression, the incorporation of wild relatives chromosomes' into durum wheat and high-throughput generation and characterisation of functional mutants.

I completed a PhD in Plant Biology at the University of Southampton (U.K.), investigating leaf development and water relations under elevated CO2 and graduating in December 2004. I followed with a short post-doc in collaboration with Rothamsted Research using forward genetics for breeding research for biomass energy trees. I then moved to the University of Reading and, in collaboration with IBERS Aberystwyth, worked with Mike Wilkinson and Paul Hadley on the epigenetics of cocoa and Arabidopsis in response to changing environmental conditions. At the end of 2011, I moved to the University of Adelaide and, subsequently, the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. I am a Senior Lecturer in the Genetics and Genomics Group using both forward and reverse genetic approaches to improve the tolerance of wheat, barley and grapevine to abiotic stresses including drought and heat. I am deputy director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Wheat in a Hot and Dry Climate and lead the programme for drought and heat tolerant wheat. I have particular responsibility for durum wheat research and lead a collaboration with the Crop Development Centre of the University of Saskatchewan and the Dept. of Agriculture of the University of Tuscia. I continue to research the role of the epigenome in plant biology, including evolutionary and population genetics and, functionally, its potential for crop improvement and its role in priming for stress tolerance.

My research focuses on understanding the signatures of drought and heat tolerance in the genomes and epigenomes of wheat, barley and grapevine.







Incorporation of Epichloë endophytes into wheat germplasm 


Grasslanz Technology Ltd.

Stuart Roy




Priyanka Kalambettu


Manipulation of Stomata to Increase Yield Potential in Wheat


Stuart Roy


Nora Foroud



Tracy Lawson

University of Essex


CRACQ – Clone the RAC875 QTL for Drought and Heat Tolerance in Wheat


Mickael Throude 



Delphine Hourcade 



‘The Wheat Hub’ Genetic diversity and molecular breeding for wheat in a hot and dry climate


Stuart Roy

Juan Juttner (GRDC)


Ute Baumann


Ramesh Raja Segaran

Dan Mullan (Intergrain)


Stan Miklavcic (UniSA)

Tristan Coram (AGT)


Brent Kaiser (University of Sydney)

Bertus Jacobs (LongReach Plant Breeders)

A Molecular Diversity Drive for Precision-Engineered Wheat.

Government of South Australia, Dept. for Skills and Innovation

Curtis Pozniak

CDC University of Saskatchewan (Canada)


Carla Ceoloni

DAFNE Universita di Tuscia (Italy)


Delphine Fleury

ACPFG (Australia)


Ute Baumann

ACPFG (Australia)


Peter Langridge


Epi-breeding – Using the epigenetic memory of stress to prime grapevines for a changing environment.

Wine Australia

Carlos Rodriguez Lopez


Everard Edwards



Ute Baumann


Roberta De Bei

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2020 Principal Supervisor A Multiple 'Omics' Approach to Study the Interaction between the Vitis Vinifera Transcriptome and Epigenome and the Barossa Valley Terroir Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Pastor Jullian Fabres
    2016 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Physiological Traits for Tolerance to Combined Drought and Heat Stress in Wheat Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Abdeljalil El Habti
    2016 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Identification of Novel Loci and Alleles for Drought and Heat Stress Tolerance in Wheat Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jessica Schmidt
    2015 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Characterization of Wheat Cuticle and Wheat Cuticle-Related Transcription Factor Genes in Relation to Drought Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Huihui Bi
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Genes, haplotypes and physiological traits associated with a chromosome 3B locus for wheat improvement in hot climates Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Pauline Thomelin
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Identification of drought responsive microRNAs and functional analysis of a sample microRNA for drought tolerance in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Jannatul Ferdous
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Differential Allele Response to Drought and Heat at Two Closely-Linked Quantitative Trait Loci on Chromosome 7A in Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Fabio Arsego
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83139898
  • Email:
  • Fax: 8313 7102
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Genomics Centre, floor 2
  • Room: 2 17
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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