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Dr Matthew Gilliham
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I am an ARC Future Fellow and Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (2014-2020). My goals are to understand how plant solute transport processes define whole plant physiology in the area of plant nutrition and stress physiology, and to equip my staff and students with the capacity to become the next generation of research leaders. My research spans both fundamental questions in plant science explored in the lab to the application of my findings in the field. This research has established the importance of cell-specific ion transport processes for maintaining plant productivity, particularly for leaf nutrient storage and for salinity tolerance. For more information see my extended biography
Broad Research Interests:
The functional characterisation of salinity tolerance mechanisms in crop and model plants, especially those related to membrane transport of Na+ and Cl-
The regulation of membrane transport systems by plant energy status, and C:N balance
Defining the respiratory costs of solute transport
The mechanisms of cell-specific nutrient storage
The use of knowledge gained from the above in breeding programs to improve crop nutrient use efficiency and abiotic stress tolerance
PhD, Masters, Honours projects and scholarships are available in my lab, as well as opportunities for undergraduate internships, please contact me for further details.
Selected Research Highlights
First field demonstration that shoot sodium exclusion, via manipulation of sodium transport genes, improves the grain yield of wheat (Nature Biotechnology). The same study also showed that the regaining of genetic diversity lost through conventional breeding can improve the salt tolerance of crop plants.
First demonstration that cell specific nutrient compartmentation in leaves has a physiological role. Mesophyll specific calcium compartmentation is necessary to regulate cell wall calcium, leaf expansion, stomatal aperture and plant productivity (Plant Cell). Mesophyll specific calcium compartmentation is required as an osmoticum for growth in serpentine conditions (New Phytologist).
Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (2014-2020).
ARC Future Fellow (2013-2017)
Senior Lecturer, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide (2013-)
Research Positions at University of Cambridge and Univeristy of Adelaide (2003-2012)
PhD Plant Science, University of Cambridge (2002)
BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of Lancaster (1997)
For more information see my extended biography
Australian Research Council (ARC)
CIs of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
For past successful collaborations see publications.
Lectures and practicals into:
Honours co-ordination in School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Selected Publications (see google scholar for full listing)
Salt transport and tolerance
Byrt CS, Krishnan M, Xu B, Lightfoot D, Athman A, Watson-Haigh NS, Jacobs A, Munns R, Tester M, Gilliham M*. (2014) Accumulation of Na+ in bread wheat is controlled by the Na+ transporter TaHKT1;5-D. Plant Journal. Accepted online: August 2014 doi: 10.1111/tpj.12651
Waters S, Gilliham M, Hrmova M (2013) Plant high affinity potassium (HKT) transporters involved in salinity tolerance: Structural insights to probe differences in ion selectivity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14:7660-7680.
Munns RJ, James RA, Xu B, Athman A, Conn SJ, Jordans C, Byrt CS, Hare RA, Tyerman SD, Tester M, Plett D and Gilliham M* (2012) Grain yield of modern wheat on saline soils is improved by ancestral HKT gene. Nature Biotechnology 30:360-364. ESI high cite, F1000 Recommended
Plett D, Safwat G, Gilliham M, Møller IS, Roy SJ, Shirley N, Jacobs A, Johnson A, Tester M (2010) Improved salinity tolerance of rice through cell type-specific expression of AtHKT1;1. PLoS ONE 5(9):e12571.
Møller IS, Gilliham M, Jha D, Mayo GM, Roy SJ, Coates JC, Haseloff J, Tester M (2009) Shoot Na+ exclusion and increased salinity tolerance engineered by cell type-specific manipulation of Na+ transport in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 21:2163-2178. ESI high cite, F1000 Recommended
Cell specific nutrient accumulation
Conn SJ, Berninger P, Broadley MR, Gilliham M* (2012) Exploiting natural variation to uncover candidate genes that control element accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. New Phytologist 193:859-866.
Conn S, Conn V, Tyerman SD, Kaiser BN, Leigh RA and Gilliham M* (2011) Arabidopsis magnesium transporters, MGT2/MRS2-1 and MGT3/MRS2-5, are important for magnesium partitioning within Arabidopsis thaliana mesophyll vacuoles. New Phytologist 190:583-594.
Conn SJ, Gilliham M*, Athman A, Schreiber AS, Baumann U, Moller I, Cheng N-H, Stancombe MA, Hirschi KD, Webb AAR, Burton R, Kaiser BN, Tyerman SD and Leigh RA (2011) Cell-specific vacuolar calcium storage mediated by AtCAX1 regulates apoplastic calcium concentration, gas exchange and plant productivity. Plant Cell 23:240-257. ESI high cite, F1000 Recommended
Conn SJ, Gilliham M* (2010) Comparative physiology of elemental distributions in plants. Annals of Botany 105:1081-1102. ESI high cite
Calcium transport and signalling
Michard E, Lima PT, Borges F Silva AC, Carvalho JE, Gilliham M, Liu L-H, Obermeyer G, Feijó JA (2011) Glutamate-Receptor-like genes control pollen tube Ca2+ influx and morphogenesis. Science 6028:434-437. (Cover Article) ESI high cite, F1000 Must read
Gilliham M*, Athman A, Tyerman SD and Conn SJ (2011) Cell-specific compartmentation of mineral nutrients is an essential mechanism for optimal plant productivity; another role for TPC1? Plant Signaling and Behavior 6:1656-1661
Roy SJ, Gilliham M, Berger B, Essah PA, Cheffings C, Miller AJ, Widdowson L, Davenport RJ, Liu L-H, Skynner MJ, Davies JM, Richardson P, Leigh RA, Tester M (2008) Investigating glutamate receptor-like gene co-expression in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant, Cell and Environment 31: 861-871.
Tracy FE, Gilliham M, Dodd AN, Webb AAR, Tester M (2008) Cytosolic free Ca2+ in Arabidopsis thaliana are heterogeneous and modified by external ionic composition. Plant, Cell and Environment 31: 1063-1073.
Kiegle E, Gilliham M, Haseloff J, Tester M (2000) Hyperpolarisation-activated calcium currents found only in cells from the elongation zone of Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Plant Journal, 21: 225-229.
Vandeleur RK, Sullivan W, Athman A, Jordans C, Gilliham M, Kaiser BN, Tyerman SD (2014) Rapid shoot-to-root signalling regulates root hydraulic conductivity via aquaporins. Plant Cell and Environment 37:520-538.
Gilliham M, Dayod M, Hocking B, Xu B, Conn SJ, Kaiser BN, Leigh RA and Tyerman SD (2011) Calcium delivery and storage in plant leaves; exploring the link with water flow. Journal of Experimental Botany 62:2233-2250. Cover image.
Vandeleur RK, Mayo G, Shelden MC, Gilliham M, Kaiser BN and Tyerman SD (2009) The role of plasma membrane intrinsic protein aquaporins in water transport through roots: diurnal and drought stress responses reveal different strategies between isohydric and anisohydric cultivars of grapevine. Plant Physiology 149:445-60.
Baby T, Hocking B, Tyerman SD, Gilliham M, Collins C (2014) Modified method for producing grapevine plants in controlled environments. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 65:261-267.
Conn SJ, Hocking B, Dayod M, Xu B, Athman A, Henderson S, Aukett L, Conn V, Shearer MK, Fuentes S, Tyerman SD, Gilliham M* (2013) Protocol: A simple and versatile hydroponics growth system for nutritional and physiological analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants. Plant Methods 9:4.
Roy SJ, Conn SJ, Mayo GM, Athman A, Gilliham M* (2012) Transcriptomics on small samples. In, Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Salt Tolerance Eds. Shabala S and Cuin T. Humana Press, NJ, USA, Vol 913, pp. 335-350.
Gilliham M* (2007) Membrane structure and methods for studying membrane transport. In, Plant Solute Transport. Eds. Yeo AR and Flowers TJ. Blackwell, Oxford, UK. pp. 47-72. ISBN 978-1-4051-3995-3.
Gilliham M*, Sullivan W, Tester M & Tyerman SD (2006) Simultaneous ion-flux and current measurement from plant protoplasts. Plant Journal 46:134-144.
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