Current ACPFG Projects
The Victorian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (www.vcpfg.com) is the provider of a platform of key proteomic technologies for use by our group. The University of Melbourne node of the ACPFG utilises ESI-MS/MS (Q-Star, Q-Trap 4000, Applied Biosystems) and MALDI-TOF-MS (Voyager-DE STR, Applied Biosystems) instruments, together with a full range of protein separation technologies to perform functional proteomic analyses. A major research emphasis is the use of quantitative proteomic methodologies, including iTRAQ (Applied Biosystems) and DIGE (GE Healthcare) technologies to accurately compare the abundances of proteins in different samples.
Metabolomics is key platform technology within our group. Established under the Science , Technology and Innovation Initiative of the Victorian State Government, the Victorian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (VCPFG: see 'Facilities and Services') has now become part of the University of Melbourne hub of Metabolomics Australia (together with the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute).
Metabolomics Australia (MA) is a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy facility proving metabolomics services and research facilities to Australian researchers in academia and industry.
The University of Melbourne node of the ACPFG uses GC- MS (ThermoFisher and Agilent ) and LC-QqTOF-MS and LC-QqQ-MS (Agilent) and 4000QTRAP (Applied Biosystems) instruments to perform both comprehensive and targeted metabolite analyses. The information obtained from these studies is then used to identify stress-related metabolite patterns. This information is then used to identify novel gene targets for the breeding programs to increase stress tolerance in commercial crops.
Physiological techniques are being used to phenotype cereal cultivars (barley and wheat) for tolerance to abiotic stresses (salinity and drought).
Primarily, we are interested in identifying the mechanisms that regulate root growth in response to abiotic stress.
Functional genomics techniques such as metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, are being employed to understand the effect of abiotic stress on plant growth and identify novel genes for increasing a plants’ salinity (or drought) tolerance.
The University of Melbourne node of the ACPFG also includes a bioinformatics program. Research within the bioinformatics program aims to develop methods to improve protein identification from mass spectral analysis of crop plant samples, improve systems for the storage and interrogation of biological data, and develop applications to integrate complex proteomic and metabolomic data