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Dr Matthew Tucker

Telephone +61 8 8313 9241
Position ARC Future Fellow
Fax +61 8 8313 7102
Building Wine Innovation Central
Floor/Room 4 15
Campus Waite
Org Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

To link to this page, please use the following URL:

Awards & Achievements

2014 - ARC Future Fellow, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide 

2011-2014 Senior Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, University of Adelaide

2008-2011 Research Fellow, CSIRO Plant Industry

2006-2008 Junior Group Leader, University of Freiburg

2004-2006 EMBO Long Term Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Freiburg

1999-2003 Inaugural Premier Scholarship for Biotechnology, University of Adelaide

Teaching Interests

Current PhD Students

Sarah Moss (CSIRO/UA)

Jana Phan (UA)

Matthew Aubert (UA)

Laura Wilkinson (UA)

Haoyu (Mia) Lou (UA/UoN)

Cindy Callens (UoN)

Current Honours Students

Weng Herng Leong (UA)

Completed PhD Students

Sonia Bosca (Uni Freiburg)

Annika Hinze (Uni Freiburg)

Completed Honours/Diplom/Masters Students

Sandy (Shi) Khor (UA)

Matthew Aubert (UA)

Grance Ang (UA)

Chao Ma (UA)

George Mondoh (UA)

Basheer Jasim (UA)

Jessika Pan (UA)

Anna Holt (Uni Freiburg)


Research Interests

Plant Biology, Developmental Genetics, Microscopy, Ovule and Seed Development, Cell Walls

Dr Tucker is a developmental geneticist with research expertise in plant reproduction, meristem growth and cell wall biosynthesis. He received his PhD from the University of Adelaide and CSIRO Plant Industry in 2003, undertook postdoctoral research as an EMBO fellow at the University of Freiburg in Germany and in 2011 joined the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls as a Senior Research Fellow. In 2015 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship.

Research in his laboratory investigates communication between different cells in the ovule, seed and root, with the aim of understanding how these signals can be engineered for superior plant products and reproductive strategies. His work has been published in journals including Developmental Cell, PloS Genetics, Plant Cell and Development.



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Link to Google Scholar:

Scientific Papers  

Zhang R, Tucker MR, Burton RA, Shirley NJ, Little A, Morris J, Milne L, Houston K, Hedley PE, Waugh R, Fincher GB (2016) The dynamics of transcript abundance during cellularisation of developing barley endosperm. Plant Physiol. doi:10.1104/pp.15.01690.

Würschum T, Tucker MR, Maurer HP, Leiser WL (2015) Ethylene inhibitors improve efficiency of microspore embryogenesis in hexaploid triticale. Plant Cell, Tissue Organ Cult. 122(3): 751-757.

Aditya J, Lewis J, Shirley NJ, Tan H, Henderson M, Fincher GB, Burton RA, Mather DE, Tucker MR (2015) The dynamics of cereal cyst nematode infection differ between susceptible and resistant barley cultivars and lead to changes in (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan levels and HvCslF gene transcript abundance. New Phytologist, 207(1), 135-147.

Liu W, Maurer HP, Li G, Tucker MR, Gowda M, Weissmann EA, Hahn V, Würschum T (2014) Genetic architecture of winter hardiness and frost tolerance in triticale. PLoS One 9(6):e99848. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099848.

Würschum T, Liu W, Busemeyer L, Tucker MR, Reif JC, Weissmann EA, Hahn V, Ruckelshausen A and Maurer HP (2014) Mapping dynamic QTL for plant height in triticale. BMC Genetics, 15:59  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-59.

Würschum T, Liu W, Alheit KV, Tucker MR, Gowda M, Weissmann EA, Hahn V and Maurer H-P (2014) Adult plant development in triticale (× Triticosecale Wittmack) is controlled by dynamic genetic patterns of regulation. G3, 4(9):1585-91.

Tucker MR, Roodbarkelari F, Truernit E, Adamski NM, Hinze A, Lohmueller B, Würschum T, Laux T (2013) Accession-specific modifiers act with ZWILLE/ARGONAUTE10 to maintain shoot meristem stem cells during embryogenesis in Arabidopsis. BMC Genomics, 14:809.

Trafford K, Haleux P, Henderson M, Parker M, Shirley NJ, Tucker MR, Fincher GB, Burton RA (2013) Grain development in Brachypodium and other grasses: Interactions between cell expansion, starch deposition and cell wall synthesis. Journal of Experimental Botany, 64(16):5033-47.

Okada T, Hu Y, Tucker MR, Taylor JM, Johnson SD, Spriggs A, Tsuchiya T, Oelkers K, Rodrigues JCM, Koltunow AMG (2013) Enlarging cells initiating apomixis in Hieracium praealtum transition to an embryo sac program prior to entering mitosis. Plant Physiology, 163(1):216-31. http:/​/​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1104/​pp.​113.​219485

Würschum T, Tucker MR, Maurer HP (2013). Stress treatments influence efficiency of microspore embryogenesis and green plant regeneration in hexaploid triticale (x Tritosecale Wittmack L.) In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plant, 50(1), 143-148.

Knauer S, Holt AL, Rubio-Somoza I, Tucker EJ, Hinze A, Pisch M, Javelle M, Timmermans MC, Tucker MR, Laux T (2013). A  protodermal miR394 signal defines a region of stem cell competence in the Arabidopsis shoot meristem. Developmental Cell, 24(2), 125-132.

Liu W, Maurer HP, Reif JC, Melchinger AE, Utz HF, Tucker MR, Ranc N, Della Porta G, Würschum T. (2012) Optimum design of family structure and allocation of resources in association mapping with lines from multiple crosses. Heredity, 110, 71–79, doi: 10.1038/hdy.2012.63.

Würschum T, Tucker MR, Reif J, and Maurer HP. (2012) Improved efficiency of doubled haploid generation in hexaploid triticale by in vitro chromosome doubling. BMC Plant Biology, 12:109. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-12-109

Alheit KV, Maurer HP, Reif JC, Tucker MR, Hahn V, Weissmann EA and Wuerschum T. (2012) Genome-wide evaluation of genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in winter and spring triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack). BMC Genomics, 13:235. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-235.

Tucker MR, Okada T, Hu Y, Scholefield A, Taylor JM, Koltunow AM (2012) Somatic small RNA pathways promote the mitotic events of megagametogenesis during female reproductive development in Arabidopsis. Development, 139(8):1399-404.

Tucker MR, Okada T, Johnson SD, Takaiwa F, Koltunow AM (2012) Sporophytic ovule tissues modulate the initiation and progression of apomixis in Hieracium. Journal of Experimental Botany , 63(8):3229-41.

Andersson-Gunnerås S, Gaboreanu I, Hertzberg M, Tucker MR, Zheng B, Leśniewska J, Mellerowicz EJ, Laux T, Sandberg G, Jones B. (2011) Reduced expression of the SHORT-ROOT gene increases the rates of growth and development in hybrid poplar and Arabidopsis. Wang J, PLoS One, 2011;6(12):e28878.

Mallory AC, Hinze A, Tucker MR, Bouché N, Gasciolli V, Elmayan T, Lauressergues D, Jauvion V, Vaucheret H and Laux T (2009) Redundant and specific roles of the ARGONAUTE proteins AGO1 and ZLL in development and small RNA-directed gene silencing. PLoS Genetics, 5(9):e1000646.

Rodrigues JC*, Tucker MR*, Johnson SD, Hrmova M, Koltunow AM (2008) Sexual and apomictic seed formation in Hieracium requires the plant polycomb-group gene FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM. Plant Cell, 20(9); 2372-86. *Joint first author.

Tucker MR, Hinze A, Tucker EJ, Takada S, Jürgens G and Laux T (2008) Vascular signalling mediated by ZWILLE potentiates WUSCHEL function during shoot meristem stem cell development in the Arabidopsis embryo. Development, 135; 2839-2843.

Tucker MR, Araujo A-C, Paech NA, Hecht V, Schmidt ED, Rossel J-B, de Vries SC and Koltunow AMG (2003) Sexual and apomictic reproduction in Hieracium subgenus Pilosella are closely interrelated developmental pathways. Plant Cell, 15; 1524-1537.

Tucker MR, Paech NA, Willemse MTM and Koltunow AMG (2001) Dynamics of callose deposition and β-1,3-glucanase expression during reproductive events in sexual and apomictic Hieracium. Planta 212; 487-498.


Review Articles

Tucker MR and Koltunow AMG (2014) Traffic monitors at the cell periphery: the role of cell walls during early female reproductive cell differentiation in plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 17:137–145.

Tucker MR and Koltunow AMG (2009) Sexual and asexual (apomictic) seed development in flowering plants: molecular, morphological and evolutionary relationships. Functional Plant Biology 36; 490-504.  

Koltunow AMG and Tucker MR (2008) Functional embryo sac formation in Arabidopsis without meiosis – one step towards asexual seed formation (apomixis) in crops? Journal of Bioscience 33; 309-311.

Tucker MR and Laux T (2007) Connecting the paths in plant stem cell regulation. Trends in Cell Biology, 17; 403-410.

Koltunow AMG and Tucker MR (2003) Advances in apomixis research: can we fix heterosis? In: Plant biotechnology and beyond (ed I.K. Vasil). pp 39-46. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Chaudhury AM, Koltunow AMG, Payne CT, Luo M, Tucker MR, Dennis ES and Peacock WJ (2001) Control of Early seed development. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 17; 677-699.

Book Chapters

Koltunow AMG, Vivian-Smith A, Tucker MR and Paech NA (2002) The central role of the ovule in apomixis and parthenocarpy. In: Plant Reproduction, (eds O'Neill SD, Roberts JA). Annual Plant Reviews pp 221-256 Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield, UK.

Professional Associations

Member of the Australian Society of Plant Biologists

Member of the International Association of Sexual Plant Reproduction Research

Community Engagement

Stock journal:

ABC Rural:

Healthy grain fibre helps barley resist pests.

Harvest Radio:

Harvest Radio:

Fine-tuning plant cells for superior cereal crops:

Uni Adelaide Media Release:

Entry last updated: Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016

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