Research Fellow

Contact Details

Office 221D, Level 2 John Hines Building (62)
P +61 (0)7 3365 4325
F +61 (0)7 3365 3556
Batley Lab

Short Biography

Alice received her PhD in Plant molecular biology from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research at the University of Queensland, in 2009. She is currently employed as a Research Officer with Dr Jacqueline Batley in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the CILR at the University of Queensland.

Research Interests

Her major area of interest is the genetic and epigenetic regulation of plant growth and development and the interactions between plants and their environment. She is also interested in genetic and epigenetic diversity and in applying this knowledge to understanding trait variation and evolution in Brassica crops.

Current Projects

Investigating the evolution and conservation of nodulation and mycorrhization genes across the Brassicaceae

Plants have evolved many and complex interactions with bacterial and fungal micro-organisms, from symbiotic relationships which benefit both plant and microbe, to pathogenesis, impacting crop yield and quality. The application of new genome technologies suggest that the evolution of plant signalling mechanisms are conserved, whether the plant is supporting a symbiotic relationship or defending against pathogenic bacteria or fungi. This project will characterise the diversity and evolution of conserved signal network components that are common to a plant's response to microbes, in wild and cultivated Brassicas. A greater understanding of these mechanisms may lead to an understanding of the function of these genes in non-nodulating, non-mycorrhizal organisms.

Epigenetic regulation of important agricultural traits in Brassica napus

Brassica napus (canola/oilseed rape) is the most economically important Brassica crop. Agronomic fitness and hybrid vigour in canola (where hybrids of inbred cultivars show increased fitness relative to their parents) involves an epigenetic DNA modification termed DNA methylation. DNA methylation heritably alters the expression levels of genes and thus can influence multiple processes and traits including flowering time, seed yield and disease resistance. This project is using next-generation, whole-genome DNA methylation sequencing to associate DNA methylation with the regulation of important agricultural traits and hybrid vigour in canola. This research will pioneer the functional analysis of genome methylation in canola with application for future crop breeding.

Key Publications

Hayward A, McLanders J, Campbell E, Edwards D, Batley J (2012) Genomic advances will herald new insights into the Brassica:Leptosphaeria maculans pathosystem. Plant Biol 14:1-10.

The Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project Consortium, Wang X, Wang H, Wang J, Sun R, Wu J, Liu S, Bai Y, Mun J-H, Bancroft I, Cheng F, Huang S, Li X, Hua W, Wang J, Wang X, Freeling M, Pires JC, Paterson AH, Chalhoub B, Wang B, Hayward A, Sharpe AG, Park B-S, Weisshaar B, Liu B, Li B, Liu B, Tong C, Song C, Duran C, Peng C, Geng C, Koh C, Lin C, Edwards D, Mu D, Shen D, Soumpourou E, Li F, Fraser F, Conant G, Lassalle G, King GJ, Bonnema G, Tang H, Wang H, Belcram H, Zhou H, Hirakawa H, Abe H, Guo H, Wang H, Jin H, Parkin IAP, Batley J, Kim J-S, Just J, Li J, Xu J, Deng J, Kim JA, Li J, Yu J, Meng J, Wang J, Min J, Poulain J, Wang J, Hatakeyama K, Wu K, Wang L, Fang L, Trick M, Links MG, Zhao M, Jin M, Ramchiary N, Drou N, Berkman PJ, Cai Q, Huang Q, Li R, Tabata S, Cheng S, Zhang S, Zhang S, Huang S, Sato S, Sun S, Kwon S-J, Choi S-R, Lee T-H, Fan W, Zhao X, Tan X, Xu X, Wang Y, Qiu Y, Yin Y, et al. (2011) The genome of the mesopolyploid crop species Brassica rapa. Nat Genet 43:1035-1039.

Marshall DJ, Hayward A, Eales D, Imelfort M, Stiller J, Berkman PJ, Clark T, McKenzie M, Lai K, Duran C, Batley J, Edwards D (2010) Targeted identification of genomic regions using TAGdb. Plant Methods 6: doi:10.1186/1746-4811-6-19.

Waldie T#, Hayward A#, Beveridge C (2010) Axillary bud outgrowth in herbaceous shoots: How do strigolactones fit into the picture? Plant Molecular Biology 73: 27-36.

Hayward A, Stirnberg P, Beveridge C#, Leyser O# (2009) Interactions between auxin and strigolactone in shoot branching control. Plant Physiology 151: 400-412.

Gresshoff PM, Buzas DM, Laniya T, Jiang Q, Schenk PM, Hayward A, Kam J, Li DX, Miyahara A, Nontachaiyapoom S, Indrasumunar A, Brcich T, Gualtieri G, Davis P, Men AE, Carroll BJ (2004) Systemic regulation of nodulation by a leaf-controlled LRR-receptor kinase. Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions 4: 369-372.

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