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Associate Professor Jason Able

Telephone +61 8 8313 7075
Position Head - Department of Agricultural Science
Fax +61 8 8313 7109
Mobile +61 4 5984 1586
Building Waite Building
Floor/Room GN 10b
Campus Waite
Org Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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Biography/ Background

Undergradaute - 1993 to 1995
Honours - 1996
Postgraduate - 1997 to 2001
CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellow - 2001
GRDC Research Fellow - 2002 to 2005
MPB CRC & UA Research Fellow - 2005 to 2010
Lecturer in Plant Breeding & Durum Breeder - 2010 to 2012
Senior Lecturer in Plant Breeding, Durum Breeder & DBA Southern Node Leader - 2013 to 2015
Head, Department of Agricultural Science - 2015 to current
A/Professor in Plant Breeding, Durum Breeder & DBA Southern Node Leader - 2016 to current


BSc (Hons I) (USQ); PhD (UQ - St. Lucia)

Teaching Interests

Jason is the program coordinator for the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences and lectures into this program. Jason also lectures to first and second year science undergraduates in the Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) covering the broad area of plant biotechnology ("Introduction to Biotechnology I" and "Principles of Biotechnology II").

Research Interests

The southern node of Durum Breeding Australia (DBA) and Jason's lab are based at the Waite Campus. DBA is a joint initiative between the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GDRC), NSW DPI, and the University of Adelaide. Jason's research interests are numerous but can be broadly categorised under the research area of Plant Breeding & Genetics.

The durum wheat breeding program at the Waite is focussed on developing new durum wheat varieties for our ever-changing environments and an ever-expanding market. Founded in the late 1980's by the late Professor Tony Rathjen, several varieties have been released including Tjilkuri (meaning 'Green Shoots'), Yawa and WID802. Since November 2010 Jason has been continuing with Tony's legacy. Further information about the breeding program and the pre-breeding research that the group is interested in can be found here. If you are interested in becoming part of the breeding program and/or are interested in developing research projects in collaboration with Jason and other academics affiliated with durum research at the Waite, make contact.

Jason's other research interest (between 2005 to 2012) centred on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control meiosis in bread wheat (hexaploid). Specifically the group was interested in the processes of chromosome pairing and recombination during the meiotic process. This research could evolve and examine similar processes in durum (tetraploid wheat). Students and/or early career researchers interested in developing projects related to this field are encouraged to contact Jason to discuss possible opportunities.

Funding for the breeding program and research is primarily from the GRDC, SAGIT and San Remo Macaroni Pty Ltd. Jason and his team have developed excellent collaborative linkages with Professor Diane Mather (University of Adelaide), Professor Amanda Able (University of Adelaide), Dr Mike Sissons (NSW DPI), Professor Graham Moore (John Innes Centre, UK), and Associate Professor Sanjay Kapoor (University of Delhi South Campus, India).


Selected Journal Articles (since 2009)

  • Liu H, Searle IR, Watson-Haigh NS, Baumann U, Mather DE, Able AJ & Able JA (2015), 'Genome-wide identification of microRNAs in leaves and the developing head of four durum genotypes during water deficit stress', PLoS ONE. Vol.10 (11): e0142799.
  • Liu H, Searle IR, Mather DE, Able AJ & Able JA (2015), 'Morphological, physiological and yield responses of durum wheat to pre-anthesis water deficit stress are genotype-dependent', Crop & Pasture Science. Vol.66 (10): 1024-1038. (Corresponding Author).
  • Able JA & Sissons M (2014), Durum wheat for the future: challenges, research and prospects in the 21st Century, Crop & Pasture Science. Vol.65: i.
  • Al-Fahdawi MS, Able JA, Evans M & Able AJ (2014), Response of durum wheat to different levels of zinc and Fusarium pseudograminearum, Crop & Pasture Science. Vol.65: 61-73.
  • Aizat WM, Dias DA, Stangoulis JCR, Able JA, Roessner U & Able AJ (2014), Metabolomics of capsicum ripening reveals modification of the ethylene related-pathway and carbon metabolism, Postharvest Biology and Technology. Vol.89: 19-31.
  • Aizat WM, Able JA, Stangoulis JCR & Able AJ (2013), Characterisation of ethylene pathway components in non-climacteric capsicum, BMC Plant Biology. Vol. 13: 191,
  • Aizat WM, Able JA, Stangoulis JCR & Able AJ (2013), Proteomic analysis during capsicum ripening reveals differential expression of ACC oxidase isoform 4 and other candidates, Functional Plant Biology. Vol. 40: 1115-1128.
  • Khoo KHP, Able AJ & Able JA (2012), The isolation and characterisation of the wheat molecular ZIPper I homologue, TaZYP1, BMC Research Notes. Vol. 5: 106, (Corresponding Author).
  • Khoo KHP, Able AJ, Chataway TK & Able JA (2012), Preliminary characterisation of two early meiotic wheat proteins after identification through 2DGE proteomics, Functional Plant Biology. Vol. 39: 222-235. (Corresponding Author).
  • Khoo KHP, Able AJ & Able JA (2012), Poor homologous synapsis 1 (PHS1) interacts with chromatin but does not co-localise with ASYnapsis 1 (ASY1) during early meiosis in bread wheat, International Journal of Plant Genomics. doi:10.1155/2012/514398. (Corresponding Author).
  • Crismani W, Kapoor S & Able JA (2011), Comparative transcriptomics reveals 129 transcripts that are temporally regulated during anther development and meiotic progression in both bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rice (Oryza sativa), International Journal of Plant Genomics. doi:10.1155/2011/931898. (Corresponding Author).
  • Deveshwar P, Bovill WD, Sharma R, Able JA & Kapoor S (2011), Analysis of anther transcriptomes to identify genes contributing to meiosis and male gametophyte development in rice, BMC Plant Biology. Vol. 11: 78, (Highly Accessed).
  • Able JA, Crismani W & Boden SA (2009), Understanding meiosis and the implications for crop improvement, Functional Plant Biology. Vol. 36(7): 575-588. (Front Cover & Corresponding Author).
  • Boden SA, Langridge P, Spangenberg G & Able JA (2009), TaASY1 promotes homologous chromosome interactions and is affected by deletion of Ph1, The Plant Journal. Vol. 57 (3): 487-497. (Corresponding Author).
  • Bovill WD, Deveshwar P, Kapoor S & Able JA (2009), Whole genome approaches to identify early meiotic gene candidates in cereals, Functional & Integrative Genomics. Vol. 9 (2): 219-229. (Corresponding Author). 


Durum Wheat Varieties Released/Assisted Release

  • DBA-Aurora (Breeder's Code: UAD0951096) (2014) - Released
  • WID802 (2012) - Assisted Release
  • Yawa (2012) - Assisted Release
  • Tjilkuri (2010) - Assisted Release

Community Engagement

Jason is actively engaged in communicating to, and educating the public on the benefits associated with genetically modified foods (as well as plant breeding and genetics more generally). Jason is a member of the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC) within the Commonwealth Government's Department of Health. Annually, he also conducts a number of communication activities that are affiliated with the University of Adelaide. These activities include newsletter and magazine articles, and radio interviews. Jason has been a panel member for many science forums that have been held in rural/regional South Australia since 2002.

Jason has presented invited seminars nationally at several institutions including the University of Adelaide; the University of Queensland; the University of Southern Queensland; and La Trobe University. He has also presented keynote seminars internationally in America, Europe, the United Kingdom and India.

Jason is actively engaged with durum stakeholders across Australia. Key stakeholders include Durum Growers, Southern Australia Durum Growers Association (SADGA), GRDC, SAGIT, San Remo Macaroni Pty Ltd and Weston Milling.

Expertise for Media Contact

CategoriesAgriculture & Farming, Science & Technology
ExpertisePlant genetics; Plant breeding; Genetic engineering; Genetically modified food; Plant biotechnology; Meiosis; Genetics; Wheat; Durum Wheat
NotesThe Peter Goldacre Medal (2008); UQ SLAFS Annual Research Award (2003); The University Medal (1997); The Faculty of Sciences Medal (1997); Member of the Australian Society Plant Scientists; Recipient of numerous travelling awards including a Farrer Memorial Fellowship and GRDC Fellowship.
After hours08 8391 2918

Entry last updated: Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016

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