Lead Chief Investigator: Peter Waterhouse, Queensland University of Technology

Collaborating Chief Investigator: Robert Henry


To analyse gene networks and their manipulation, the Centre’s researchers need to apply gene and genome editing techniques.  

Our aim is to produce a rapid and precise way to validate predictions about network manipulations and to fast-track traits into crops such as rice and sorghum. 

Our approach

We will use N.benthamiana as a testbed for developing tools that will be transferred to rice and, later, extended to others species such as sorghum.  

The reference quality genomes of a lab strain, a reference quality wild strain genome, and a number of good quality genomes of wild strains from different ecologies will provide target and donor genomes for both technical advances and biological experiments.  

We will manipulate abiotic and biotic stress response pathways, using CRISPR-based constructs, sequence-specific recombinases, sequence rewriting tools and delivery methods (both existing and developed in this project), along with endogenous and synthetic genes and signals.  

Editing in lab and wild strains will be compared with editing in domesticated and wild rice to examine commonalities.  

Our ultimate aim is to rearrange, modify and redirect networks using genome editing as a way of fast-tracking the production and validation traits for sustainable crop production.  

We will work together with researchers exploring the freedom to operate with these technologies as they develop.