Using epigenetics to breed for enhanced reproductive, abiotic and/or biotic traits in cereal crops

Projects to suit enthusiastic student interested in learning more about plant breeding, genetics, molecular biology, abiotic and biotic stress, and/or plant reproduction.

Using epigenetics to breed for enhanced reproductive, abiotic and/or biotic traits in cereal crops

Historically, Honours projects in the @AbleLab_UA have focused on a wide range of research areas including understanding particular pathogens and how it is they affect the developing plant; examining grain quality and the diversity within germplasm pools, isolating and deciphering the function of genes that are involved in reproduction and ripening processes, and understanding what molecules regulate and which genes are targets during water-stress (as examples). More recently, we have demonstrated transgenerational inheritance for miRNAs and their target with water-deficit stress.

Our recent review (Trends in Plant Science 2022) speculates about the use of priming and epigenetics in breeding for stress tolerance. Outstanding questions focus on the use of epigenetic markers and a reference platform of genes for the development of stress memory by plant breeders.

Rather than outline a particular project here, we like to tailor the Honours project around a student’s interests. If you like the idea of working on a project from the ground-up, get in contact to have a chat.


Professor Amanda Able, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Professor Amanda Able
Professor in Plant Science in the School of Agriculture Food and Wine. Her areas of expertise are broad ranging across plant physiology and plant pathology. They include epigenetics of plants faced with stress, understanding plant-pathogen interactions, stress priming and transgenerational inheritance, postharvest physiology and mycology.

Professor Jason Able

Professor Jason Able
Head of School and Professor in Plant Breeding in the School of Agriculture Food and Wine. Jason has a wide range of research interests, the results of which can be applied to breeding programs. They include fundamental science that centres on microRNAs and their role in enhancing crop productivity, understanding molecular mechanisms that control meiosis in bread and durum wheat, frost tolerance in cereals and barley malt flavour.

Tagged in Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Amanda Able, Honours projects - Jason Able