Five UWA projects receive $2.5 million in national research funding

23/11/2020 | 2 mins

A project focusing on ways to improve the genetic diversity of chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts, and research that will examine ways to improve wheat yields are two of five projects from The University of Western Australia to receive a combined $2.5 million in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The funding, announced by the Education Minister Dan Tehan, is part of the ARC’s linkage project scheme.

UWA Professor Stephen Powles will lead a team that will investigate the role of cell membranes in herbicide resistance in plants. The project, awarded $365,247 from ARC, aims to generate new knowledge about the early response of plants to the plant hormone auxin and the difference between susceptible and resistant weeds.

UWA Emeritus Professor Hans Lambers, Professor Kadambot Siddique, Professor Megan Ryan and Associate Professor Peta Clode will head a research project to examine the genetic diversity of chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts. With  $650,000 support, the project aims to better understand the mechanisms responsible for high phosphorus-use efficiency in the three major legume crops to improve seed quality for humans and livestock.

UWA Dr Matthew Fraser, Professor Gary Kendrick, Professor Euan Harvey, Dr Benjamin Saunders. Associate Professor Brendan Burns, Dr Grzegorz Skyrzypek and Professor Simon Jarman and a team of scientists will investigate the resilience of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site to projected climate change for the future. Awarded $324,006, the scientists aim to generate new knowledge for marine conservation through analysing habitat loss and the effects on nutrients and productivity in seagrass.

UWA Professor Ian Small will lead a project that aims to develop restorer-of-fertility genes for hybrid wheat breeding. The project has been awarded $661,039 and the team is seeking to deliver solutions for hybrid wheat breeding programs to achieve higher wheat yield and gains in Australia and worldwide.

UWA Professor Li Ju and Emeritus Professor David Blair have been awarded $465,000 coordinate a complex program that will map groundwater infrastructure and increase the depth to which conductive ore bodies can be detected. He and his team hope to discover new mineral and water resources, which hold significant benefits for the mining and agricultural industry.

The full list of ARC linkage grants are available on the ARC website. The projects are supported with funding from collaborators and partner organisations

Media references

Jess Reid (UWA Media and PR Adviser), 08 6488 6876

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