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Improving plant responses to sub-optimal conditions through plant hormones

This honours project focuses on making fundamental discoveries about how strigolactones act to alter the growth of plant root cells or applying the latest knowledge of strigolactones to crops.

Philip Brewer

Plant hormones are fundamental in the formation, growth, survival and productivity of plants.

In recent years we have discovered that strigolactones control many important attributes of plants; including shoot branching, root architecture and plant-fungi symbiosis, and helping plants cope with poor growth conditions, such as low nutrients, shading, cold, drought and salinity, and attack from pathogens or parasitic weeds. 

One important way that strigolactones act is by inhibiting auxin transporters. However, the cellular mechanism for this not yet known. 

This project will help discover the action of strigolactones in plant roots, or apply strigolactone knowledge to crops, through cutting-edged technologies in molecular and cellular biology, molecular physiology or genome editing.

This research will unlock brand new ways to make plants more resilient. The transfer and application of that knowledge to agricultural and horticultural industries will be important for Australia and countries with similar climatic situations.

Key references

Dr Philip Brewer


Dr Philip Brewer

Research area: Brewer Lab, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Agricultural Science or Honours in Plant Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Philip Brewer