Our Vision

Through an ability to predict and improve plant performance in diverse environments, we will enable the sustainable and productive future of plants in nature and agriculture.

Our Values

Integrity

Inclusivity

International excellence

OUR MISSION

Develop new, more effective ways of solving persistent problems in nature and agriculture and inspire others in plant science and beyond.

Strive to realise the potential of people, research and transdisciplinary approaches through active and broad dialogue and collaboration within the Centre, plant sciences and beyond.

Become a “preferred choice” collaborator because of our professional ways of working with intellectual property and contractual commitments, and our high standard of ethics, integrity and inclusion.

Promote a safe and rewarding workplace where we are all encouraged to be creative thinkers.

THE CRISIS OF FOOD SECURITY

Climatic changes and a dwindling amount of arable land on our planet threaten to constrain the productivity and resiliencethe success—of both wild and cultivated plants, even as the exploding human population and growing wealth escalate the need for plant-based foods, feed, fibre, biofuels, and chemical and industrial products. 

We are fast approaching a tipping point where societal and environmental pressures will leave nature and agriculture too little time to respond.

We must urgently increase the yields of mainstream crops; develop new, emerging or marginal crops; and identify strategies to conserve native plant species that are at risk. 

To make this possible, the world needs new approaches, theories, and technologies. Manipulating one gene at a time, as is current practice in plant breeding, is too slow. 

OUR PURPOSE

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture—the Centre for Plant Success—is developing innovative tools and strategies to improve the productivity of plants and their resilience to heat and drought.

By looking to nature, we are discovering the diverse adaptive strategies that plants use to deal with heat and drought.

Capitalising on rapid advances in genome sequencing and computational and mathematical capability, we are joining the dots between desirable whole-plant adaptive traits and the complex interplay of the genetic and physiological networks that underpin them.

With this new knowledge and through our multidisciplinary approach, we are developing predictive tools for plant breeding that will transform the industry.

Not only are we future-proofing crops and native plant species, we are also modernising outdated legal and social frameworks, advancing evolutionary systems biology, and transforming plant science for the next generation.

The Centre was funded by the Australian Research Council in 2020 for seven years under its Centre of Excellence scheme, with further support from our partners totalling $42m cash and $68m in-kind.

OUR PARTNERS

Our success hinges on strong global partnerships with plant science experts and with the plant breeding industry.  

These partners are advising us on our research trajectories, based on industry needs. 

They are providing access to global genomic and phenomic Big Data sets, including unpublished data from many years of costly experiments, field trials and measurements with several crop plants.  

And they are helping us test our predictive crop breeding tools on genotype combinations present in breeders’ germplasm collections or current breeding crosses. 

Our team includes partner investigators from the following leading universities and research centres:  

OUR INDUSTRY PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

Corteva Agriscience is the agriculture division of Dow-DuPont. The only major agriscience company dedicated to agriculture, Corteva leads the world in the development and supply of advanced plant genetics, crop protection and digital products, which it provides to farmers and breeders in more than 70 countries.  

Corteva scientists have a long history of collaboration with the University of Queensland.  

Corteva has already made significant improvements in genotype-to-phenotype modelling and applied these advanced modelling capabilities to develop their AQUAmax® suite of drought tolerant maize hybrids. 

We are collaborating with Corteva to further advance and innovate prediction methods beyond what would be possible alone, which will allow us to develop and improve crop products faster and in new, nature-driven directions.  

Corteva has allocated 5 of its top researchers to work with us and is giving us access to unpublished data, which we will use for direct phenotypic sampling, experimentation, and modelling.  

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) maintains vast, international seed banks of maize and wheat and identifies variants with higher productivity and resilience for growers in the developing world.  

CIMMYT has already used next-generation sequencing to genotype its entire collection of maize germplasm and more than 30% of its wheat germplasm, a subset of which it has phenotyped. For much of the maize collection, they have long-term environmental data.  

These resources are available to our researchers, offering unparalleled, ongoing opportunities to discover new, high-value genetic variations to improve pre-breeding products.

CIMMYT’s expertise in characterising and understanding germplasm, pre-breeding and breeding complements our team’s evolutionary, experimental, and mathematical expertise.

The Crop Trust supports the development of high yielding, resilient crops that can meet the needs of the growing human population under changing climates.  

It sees diversity as the foundation of food security, which directly aligns with our strategy.  

A global system of 1700 gene banks collects, conserves and distributes the seeds of crops and wild relatives (over 700,000 varieties worldwide), backed up by the Svalbard Seed Vault, located above the Arctic Circle.  

We will not only draw on, and potentially contribute to, these genetic resources, but we will align our work, where appropriate, to The Crop Trust’s global strategies for conservation and development of cereal, fruit and vegetable crops. 

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is our educational partner and through this powerful new alliance we will together develop and deliver curriculum-linked content about the power of plants.   

Already linked with nearly 2000 early-learning centres, primary schools, and high schools across Australia, the foundation provides facilities and educational resources for more than 200,000 Australian schoolchildren to grow, prepare and share fresh and nutritious food, positively influence their food choices, and educate them on environmental sustainability.  

Bioplatforms is providing funds which we are using to enhance our genome sequencing capacity.  

DAF connects industries, the community and government to grow the economy and safeguard the natural environment.

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