PFS Seminar by Professor Ray Rose (University of Newcastle)

1 November 2012

Medicago truncatula as a model legume: genetic regulation of embryogenesis and seed storage product partitioning


Medicago truncatulacv. Jemalong has become a major genetic and genomic model for legumes. In the seminar I first wanted to first consider the development of Jemalong 2HA, its use in genetic modification and understanding somatic embryogenesis used in plant regeneration. Secondly, to examine the regulation of the relative amounts of protein, oil and carbohydrate in the cotyledons of legume seed. Three critical genes are involved in the somatic embryogenesis process MtWUSCHEL, MtSERK1 and MtSERF1. These genes help facilitate the integration of the culture stress and the plant hormones auxin and cytokinin in producing stem cells that form embryos. In addition these studies provide some new insights into the role of these genes in the whole plant. M. truncatula and M. orbicularis accumulate different amounts of oil and protein in their cotyledons and how this relates to the expression of transcriptional regulators and biosyntheis genes is examined.


After obtaining an Agricultural Science degree from Sydney and a short time in the NSW Dept. Agriculture I did my Ph.D. at Macquarie and then obtained a CSIRO fellowship to do postdoctoral work at Carleton University in Canada. I was then a lecturer at Massey University N.Z. Up until this point my research was primarily on the cell and molecular biology of plant cell growth. I returned to Australia to the CSIRO Division of Horticultural Research in Adelaide and researched chloroplast DNA and chloroplast division and development. I moved to the U of Newcastle and continued this type of work until commencing work on the annual legume Medicago truncatula developing transformation and genetic modification strategies and subsequently investigating the molecular genetics of somatic and zygotic embryogenesis (including partitioning into the major storage molecules) in this model legume. Currently a Professor of Biological Sciences involved predominantly in the Biotechnology Program.

All welcome to attend

Time: 15:45 afternoon tea for 16:05 seminar

Location: Room 422, Biomedical Building (C81), ATP

Contact: Dr Tom Roberts

Phone: 02 8627 1042

Email: 05043724140919042821090b061d134a492037504a78520a3a611643