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Xenobiotic metabolism in Australian marsupials

To investigate the dietary effect of eucalyptus terpenes on drug metabolising enzyme CYPs and UGTs in Australian marsupials.

Lab equipment

While most animals tend to select food low in potentially toxic chemicals, several Australian marsupials rely on eucalyptus leaves as a major or only food source.

In order to ingest and absorb such large quantities of toxic plant secondary metabolites in these leaves, specialist eucalyptus feeders such as the koala must have evolved highly specialised detoxification mechanism involved several liver enzyme systems.

The findings will contribute to the knowledge of the metabolic capacity of Australian marsupials, especially at the molecular level that is limited at present.

Key methodology: Enzymatic assay, gene cloning (RT-PCR, RACE), immune-blot, cell culture work 


Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Ecology and environmental science, Honours projects - Suong Ngo, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Pathobiology infectious disease and public health

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition