ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (Adelaide node)

LOCATION: Plant Research Centre, Hartley Grove, Waite Campus, Urrbrae

Who We Are

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology is a $40 million national research centre compromising of nodes based in the University of Western Australia, the Australian National University in Canberra, La Trobe University in Melbourne and the University of Adelaide. The Centre is currently funded until 2020.

The Adelaide node of the Centre studies the processes of nutrient uptake into plants and the use of these nutrients in plants (e.g. nitrate, phosphate, potassium and calcium), as well as the processes that plants use to tolerate or exclude toxic substances from the soil like aluminium and salt. It comprises the lab groups of Professor Steve Tyerman and Professor Matthew Gilliham who collectively head up the Plant Transport and Signalling Lab at the Waite Campus.

The overall research focus of the Centre is on the metabolic reactions that allow plants to use energy from the sun to produce the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat and remove waste carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The long-term goal is to comprehend this system well enough to not only understand how plants function at a cellular level, but to be able to design optimal energy metabolism for particular functions (for example, nutrient uptake or starch production), or in response to harsh environmental conditions.

Our Mission & Vision

To define the complex system that determines overall energy efficiency in plants. To discover the key signals, ‘gatekeeper’ cells, and (epi)genetic controls that regulate this energy system. To manipulate these in combination, to tune energy efficiency across the whole plant to enhance yields.

Our vision is to enhance plant energy efficiency by simultaneously optimising energy capture, conversion and use in changing environments to improve the sustainable productivity of plants.

Strategic Priorities

  • To elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of energy biology regulation
  • To be a leading Centre for advanced training and education of plant and computational biologists in Australia
  • To build strategic collaborations for Australia in the international science community
  • To enhance plant biotechnologies to build technological innovations to aid Australian agricultural innovation

Professor Steve Tyerman
Chief Investigator
T. (08) 8313 6663

Professor Matthew Gilliham
Chief Investigator
T. (08) 8313 8145

Partner Details


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