Dr Megan Shelden

 Position ARC DECRA Fellow
 Org Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
 Email megan.shelden@adelaide.edu.au
 Telephone +61 8 8313 6652
 Location Floor/Room 1 88 ,  Plant Research Centre ,   Waite
  • Biography/ Background

    2014 - 2016 ARC DECRA Fellow

    2009 - 2013 Research Fellow, School of Botany, University of Melbourne

    2007 - 2009 Research Fellow, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University

    2003 - 2007 PhD, School of Agriculture and Wine, University of Adelaide

    1998 - 2003 Research Assistant, Australian National University 

    1998   Technical officer, Department of Botany, University of Adelaide

    1994 - 1997 Bachelor of Science, Honours Botany, University of Adelaide

  • Awards & Achievements

    2014 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

    2012 CASS Travel Grant

    2009 Best Paper Award for Young Scientist in Functional Plant Biology

    2006 Best Student Poster Prize, Australian Society of Plant Scientists, ComBio

    2005 Young Investigator Travel Award, International Aquaporin Conference

    2005 Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture Travel Award

    2003 - 2007 Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture Postgraduate Scholarship

    2001 Earthwatch Institute Student Fellowship

    1997 Best Student Poster Prize, Centre for Plant Membrane Biology, ComBio


  • Research Interests

    My research interest is in the area of abiotic stress (salinity, drought) tolerance in agriculture crops. Abiotic stresses are major causes of crop yield losses in agriculture significantly impacting on agriculture sustainability. In agriculture crops, the root system plays a critical role in determining crop yield. The root system is the first part of the plant to sense changes in the external soil environment thus roots need to adapt to these changes to maintain growth and send signals to the shoot. Salinity imposes an immediate osmotic stress on the root system that results in a reduction in root growth. Often this is followed by a partial recovery and a new steady rate of root elongation is obtained. The ability of the roots to maintain root elongation in response to salt stress is an important adaptation incresing soil exploration for water and nutrient uptake. By understanding how plants respond and adapt to salinity stress will provide opportunities to improve crop performance and yeild in salinity-affected regions. 

    I have expertise in root biology, plant physiology, molecular biology and functional genomics (ie. metabolomics/ transcriptomics). My current research aims to identify the molecular mechanisms that control and regulate root growth in response to salinity using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) as a cereal model. The knowledge gained in barley will provide important information for incresing salinity tolerance in other Australian cereal crops, most notably wheat. 


  • Research Funding

    2015  - 2016 Catalyst Research Grant (SA Gov) "Screening for salt tolerance in wheat using impedence spectroscopy" $30,000

    2014 -2016 ARC DECRA Fellowship "Getting to the root of salt tolerance in barley" $394,575.

  • Publications

    Shelden MC, Roessner U, Sharp R.E, Tester M, Bacic, A (2013). Genetic variation in the root growth response of barley genotypes to salinity stress. Functional Plant Biology 40 (5): 526-530.

    Shelden MC and Roessner U. (2013). Advances in functional genomics for investigating salinity stress tolerance mechanisms in cereals. Frontiers in Plant Science 4, 123.

    Price GD, Shelden MC, Howitt SM (2011). Membrane topology of the cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporter, SbtA, and identification of potential regulatory loops.  Molecular Membrane Biology 28 (5): 265-275.

    Shelden MC, Howitt SM, Price GD (2010). Membrane topology of the cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporter, BicA, a member of the SulP (SLC26A) family. Molecular Membrane Biology 27(1): 12-23.

    Shelden MC, Howitt SM, Kaiser BN, Tyerman SD (2009). Identification and functional characterisation of aquaporins in the grapevine, Vitis vinifera. Functional Plant Biology 36 (12):1065-1078.

    Vandeleur RK, Mayo G, Shelden MC, Gilliham M, Kaiser BN, 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 (1): 445-460.

    Tyerman SD, Vandeleur RK, Shelden MC, Tilbrook J, Mayo G, Gilliham M and Kaiser BN (2009). Water Transport and Aquaporins in Grapevine. In, Roubekakis-Angelakis KA (ed) Grapevine molecular physiology & biotechnology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. 2nd ed. Ch. 4, pp.73-104.

    Shelden MC, Loughlin P, Tierney ML, and Howitt SM. (2003). Interactions between charged amino acid residues within transmembrane helices in the sulfate transporter SHST1. Biochemistry 42(44):12941-9.

    Loughlin P, Shelden MC, Tierney ML, Howitt SM (2002). Structure and function of a model member of the SulP transporter family. Cell Biochem Biophys 36 (2-3): 183-90.

    Shelden MC, Loughlin PC, Tierney LM and Howitt SM (2001). Proline residues in two tightly coupled helices of the sulphate transporter, SHST1, are important for sulphate-transport. Biochemical Journal 356(2): 589-94.

    Shelden MC, Dong B, de Bruxelles G, Trevaskis B, Whelan J, Ryan P, Howitt SM and Udvardi MK (2001). Arabidopsis ammonium transporters, AMT1;1 and AMT1;2 have different biochemical properties and functional roles. Plant and Soil 231: 151-160.

    Shelden MC and Sinclair R (2000). Water relations of feral olive trees (Olea Europaea) resprouting after severe pruning. Australian Journal of Botany 48: 639-644.

    Sohlenkamp C, Shelden MC, Howitt SM and Udvardi M (2000).  Characterisation of Arabidopsis AtAMT2, a novel ammonium transporter in plants. FEBS Letters 467: 273-278.

    Khurana OK, Coupland LA, Shelden MC and Howitt SM (2000). Homologous mutations in two diverse sulphate transporters have similar effects. FEBS Letters 477:118-122.

  • Professional Associations

    Australian Society of Plant Scientists

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Entry last updated: Monday, 18 Dec 2017

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