Best Paper Award to two uni researchers
Friday, 4 April 2003
Dr Carolyn Schultz of the School of Agriculture and Wine and Dr Michael Rumsewicz of TRC Mathematical Modelling at The University of Adelaide have been awarded Plant Physiology's "Best Paper Award for 2002".
The award will be presented to Dr Schultz at the American Society of Plant Biologists annual meeting, "Plant Biology 2003", in Hawaii in July 2003.
The research, published in collaboration with four other authors from The University of Melbourne, provides a framework for functional genomics studies in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The framework allows researchers to develop targeted experiments for individual genes from multigene families based on assessment of publicly available genomic resources. The awarding journal, Plant Physiology, is a highly respected international plant science journal, with an impact factor that places it amongst the top three plant science research journals.
One of the challenges facing plant researchers working on large gene families is choosing family members to focus on so as to maximise the chances of understanding gene function. A further challenge is the need to deal with the information explosion in modern biology that has generated huge volumes of data from a variety of sources.
The award winning paper employed novel bioinformatics approaches as part of a larger general strategy of assimilating and analysing the diverse publicly available genomic resources for Arabidopsis. The analysis enables the development of targeted experiments for understanding the role of arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs), a complex group of cell surface molecules believed to be important in plant growth and development. Although the multi-disciplinary approach used was developed specifically for analysing AGPs, it is applicable to all Arabidopsis genes.
The work was funded by an ARC Large Grant to Dr Carolyn Schultz and Professor Tony Bacic (University of Melbourne) on the "Role of arabinogalactan-proteins, a class of hydroxyproline-rich proteoglycans, in plant growth and development". This work continues under a new ARC discovery grant (2003-2005) to Dr Schultz and Professor Bacic.
The project currently employs research assistant, Ms Natalie Kibble, University of Adelaide and postdoctoral fellow, Dr Brian Jones, University of Melbourne.