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Dr Carolyn Schultz

Telephone +61 8 8313 7342
Position Senior Lecturer
Fax +61 8 8313 0431
Building Plant Research Centre
Floor/Room 1 86
Campus Waite
Org Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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Biography/ Background

Dr Carolyn Schultz received a PhD from New York University in 1995 for studies on nitrogen metabolism in plants, under the supervision of Dr Gloria Coruzzi. From Jan 1995 - March 2001 she worked at the University of Melbourne, School of Botany for the CRC for Industrial Plant Biopolymers (now for the CRC for Bioproducts) with Prof Adrienne Clarke and Prof Tony Bacic. This work focused on using biotechnology to develop products for the food and pharmaceutical industries, using plant cells in suspension culture.

She moved to The University of Adelaide in May 2001 where she continues to study the function and modification of proteoglycans in the plant cell wall. In Semester 2, 2007 Carolyn went on sabbatical to Dr Maria Harrison's Lab at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (affilliated with Cornell University), to investigate the role of arbuscular mycorrhiza-specific AGPs in the pasture legume Medicago truncatula. She is also involved with the Australian native food industry with projects on plant improvement and sensory evaluation of the Australia native berry muntries.

In her spare time Carolyn takes part in coastal rehabilitation programs, such as the Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group.

Teaching Interests

Program Coordinator:
Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science

Undergraduate courses:


  • Biotechnology in the Food and Wine Industries, Course Coordinator
  • Genes and Inheritance
  • Plant Molecular Biology

Research Interests

Plant Cell Surface Interactions and mycorrhizas


Program 1. GPI-anchored arabinogalactan-proteins at the plant cell surface


This program aims to define the processes by which arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) are assembled and the molecular mechanisms underlying their mode of action as regulators of plant growth and development using Arabidopsis thaliana.


This is being achieved through the use of molecular, biochemical and genetic approaches to define the function of protein backbone genes and the glycosyltransferases that assemble the complex glycan chains on the protein backbones.


We are currently focusing on mechanism of action of a fasciclin-like arabinogalactan-proteins (FLAs) in turgor regulation and the AG-peptide, AGP24, in abscission.


In collaboration with Prof Tony Bacic (University of Melbourne), Prof  Steve Tyerman (University of Adelaide), and Dr Matt Gilliham (University of Adelaide).



Program 2.  Structure-function relationships of proteins at plant–fungal interfaces in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses.


Sustainable farming systems rely on symbiotic interactions between plaints and soil microogainisms, such as rhizobia and arbuscular-mycorrhiza (AM).  Initiation of these interactions requires complex signalling events that lead to extensive changes to plant membranes and walls.  We are working with the legume Medicago truncatula to identify key genes at the interface between the plant and fungus in this important symbiosis. 


We recently discovered a new class of fungal genes in Glomus intraradices (Schultz & Harrison, 2008). AGL proteins encoded by two AGL genes from G. intraradices (GiAGLs) represent a new structural class of proteins not found in non-AM fungi or plants. Structural modelling shows that GiAGL1 can form an amphipathic polyproline II helix with separate positively and negatively charged faces. Proteins that form amphipathic polyproline II helices can have cell penetrating activity in mammalian cells. The unique structural properties of the newly discovered AGLs suggests they could assist the formation of symbiotic interfaces through self-assembly and interactions with plant cell surfaces.




Program 3.  Plant improvement and sensory evaluation of the Australian spicy apple, “SA berry”, muntries   (currently unfunded)


Our long term objective is to provide research to assist muntries growers and the Australian food industry to achieve economic growth through the successful development of an economic and environmentally viable muntries industry.  Our current research includes sensory evaluation, product development, GC-MS analysis of aroma compounds and development of molecular markers (AFLP and gene-specific markers).


In the wild the muntries plant, Kunzea pomifera, occurs as a ground cover along the southern coast of Australia from Portland in Victoria to the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. It produces clusters of berries, green in colour with a red to purplish tinge at maturity, up to 1 cm or more in diameter, with a spicy-apple flavour. The fruit can be used fresh in desserts and fruit salads, or ooked in pies, chutneys, jams and sweet or savoury sauces.

link to


Collaborators on the muntries project:

University of Adelaide, Dr Sue Bastian, Mr Trent Johnson and  Dr Maarten Rdyer.


Creasey R, Voelcker NH and Schultz CJ (2012) Investigation of self-assembling proline- and glycine-rich recombinant proteins and peptides inspired by proteins from a symbiotic fungus using atomic force microscopy and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins & Proteomics. 1824, 711-722.


Johnson KL, Kibble NAJ, Bacic A and Schultz CJ (2011) A Fasciclin-like arabinogalactan-protein (FLA) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, fla1, shows defects in shoot regeneration. PLOS ONE, 6,   e25154.


Aizat WM, Preuss JM, Johnson AAT, Tester MA and Schultz CJ (2011) Investigation of a His-rich arabinogalactan-protein for micronutrient biofortification of cereal grain. Physiologia Plantarum, 143, 271-286.


Ellis M, Egelund J, Schultz CJ and Bacic A (2010) Arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs): Key regulators at the cell surface? Plant Physiology, 153, 403–419.


Schultz CJ, Kochian LV and Harrison MJ (2010) Genetic variation for root architecture, nutrient uptake and mycorrhizal colonisation in Medicago truncatula accessions. Plant & Soil, 336, 113–128


Kibble NAJ, Sohani MM, Shirley N, Byrt C, Roessner U, Bacic A, Schmidt O and Schultz CJ (2009). Phylogenetic analysis and functional characterisation of strictosidine synthase-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.Functional Plant Biology, 36, 1098-1109.


Sohani MM, Schenk PM, Schultz CJ, Schmidt O. (2009) Phylogenetic and transcriptional analysis of a strictosidine synthase-like gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals involvement in plant defence responses. Plant Biology, 11, 105-117.  

Schultz CJ, Apps DJ, Johnson TE, Bastian SEP (2009) Testing consumer acceptability of new crops: an integrated sensory and marketing approach using muntries, an Australian native berry. Food Australia, 61, 335-341.for pdf see files at end of web page.

Schultz CJ, Harrison MJ. (2008) Novel plant and fungal arabinogalactan-like proteins in the Medicago truncatula – Glomus intraradices arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.  Mycorrhiza. 18, 403-412.

Qu Y, Egelund J, Gilson PR, Houghton F, Gleeson PA, Schultz CJ, Bacic A (2008) Identification of a novel group of putative Arabidopsis thaliana b-(1,3)-galactosyltransferases. Plant Molecular Biology 68,43–59.

March TJ, Able JA, Willsmore K, Schultz CJ, Able AJ (2008) Comparative mapping of a QTL controlling black point formation in barley. Functional Plant Biology, 35, 427-437.

Bahraminejad S, Asenstorfer RE, Williams KJ, Hayasaka K, Zwer PK, Riley IT, Schultz CJ (2008) Metabolites correlated with cereal cyst nematode resistance in oats (Avena sativa) identified using single seed descent lines. Nematologia Mediterranea. 36, 145-152.

Tran M, Schultz CJ, Baumann U. (2008) Conserved upstream open reading frames in higher plants. BMC Genomics.

Bahraminejad, S, Asenstorfer RE, Riley IT, Schultz CJ (2008) Analysis of the antimicrobial activity of flavonoids and saponins isolated from the shoots of oats (Avena sativa L.)"  Journal of Phytopathology. 156, 1-7.    

March TJ, Able JA, Schultz CJ and Able AJ (2007) A novel late embryogenesis abundant protein and peroxidase associated with black point in barley grains. Proteomics. 7, 3800-3808. 

Schultz CJ, Ferguson KL, Lahnstein J, Bacic A. (2004) Post-translational modifications of arabinogalactan-peptides of Arabidopsis thaliana. Endoplasmic reticulum and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchor signal cleavage sites and hydroxylation of proline. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279, 45503-45511

Gaspar YM, Nam J, Schultz CJ, Lee YL, Gilson PR, Gelvin SB and Bacic A (2004).  Characterization of the Arabidopsis lysine-rich arabinogalactan-protein AtAGP17 mutant (rat1) that results in a decreased efficiency of agrobacterium transformation. Plant Physiology 135, 2162-2171.

Johnson KL, Jones BJ, Schultz CJ and Bacic A (2003).  The fasciclin-like arabinogalactan-proteins (FLAs) of Arabidopsis thaliana.  A novel multigene family of putative cell adhesion molecules.  Plant Physiology 133, 1911-25.

Eisenhaber E, Wildpaner M, Schultz CJ, Borner GHH, Dupree P and Eisenhaber F (2003) Glycosylphosphatidylinositol lipid anchoring of plant proteins: Sensitive prediction from sequence and genome-wide studies for Arabidopsis and rice. Plant Physiology 133, 1691-1701

Schultz CJ, Rumsewicz MR, Johnson KL, Jones BJ Gaspar Y, Bacic A (2002). Using genomic resources to guide research directions:  The arabinogalactan-protein gene family as a test case.  Plant Physiol. 129, 1448-1463. I was awarded Plant Physiology’s Young Scientist’s Best Paper Award 2002 for this paper

Schultz CJ (2001). Oh what a wonderful weed (review).  Today’s Life Science 13, 48-52.

Gaspar Y, Johnson KL, McKenna J, Bacic A, Schultz CJ (2001). The complex structures of arabinogalactan-proteins and the journey towards a function (review). Plant Molecular Biology 47, 161-176

Poon S, Clarke AE, Schultz CJ (2001). A protein engineering approach for determining the influence of a-helices on the emulsifying properties of proteins. Bioscience, Biotechnology & Biochemistry. 65, 1713-1723.

Poon S, Clarke AE, Schultz CJ (2001).  The effect of denaturants on the emulsifying activity of proteins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49, 281-286.

Poon SP, Clarke AE, Schultz CJ (1999) Structure-function analysis of the emulsifying and interfacial properties of apomyoglobin and derived peptides.  Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 213, 193-203.

Schultz CJ, Hsu M, Miesak B, Coruzzi GM. (1998) Arabidopsis mutants define the in vivo role for aspartate aminotransferase isoenzymes in plant nitrogen metabolism. Genetics 149, 491-499.

Schultz CJ, Hauser K, Lind JL, Atkinson AH, Pu Z-H, Anderson MA, Clarke AE  (1997) Molecular characterisation of a cDNA sequence encoding the backbone of a style-specific 120kDa glycoprotein which has features of both extensins and arabinogalactan proteins.  Plant Molecular Biology 35, 833-845.

Schultz CJ, Coruzzi GM (1995) The aspartate aminotransferase gene family of Arabidopsis encodes isoenzymes localized to three distinct subcellular compartments. Plant Journal 7, 61-75.






Entry last updated: Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014

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