Associate Professor Penelope Smith

A12 - Macleay Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 7169
Fax +61 2 9351 4771

Website Room 239a, A12 - Macleay Building
Plant Molecular Biology Lab

Research interests

Transport Proteins on the Symbiosome membrane of soybean

Transport Proteins on the Symbiosome membrane of soybean

Bacteroids (the symbiotic form of rhizobia) inside the infected nodule cells are surrounded by a membrane of plant origin that effectively segregates the bacteroids from the plant cytoplasm and controls the type and quantity of compounds that pass between the partners. The bacteroids enclosed by the plant envelope form the symbiosome, a facultative organelle (part prokaryote, part eukaryote), which is the fundamental N2-fixing unit within legume nodules. Rhizobia are totally dependent upon their plant hosts for nutrients when living within the nodule. The symbiosome membrane (SM) has selective permeability to metabolites by grace of a unique suite of proteins encoded in the host cell nucleus and targeted to the symbiosome. My research group studies mechanisms for transport of nutrients across the symbiosome membrane and the assimilation of the nitrogen fixed by rhizobia as well as the mechanism by which proteins translated in the cytoplasm move to their subcellular location in nodules.

More details see

  • Patrick Loughlin
  • Tory Clarke
  • Leon Chen

Purine biosynthesis in legume nodules: regulation of nitrogen assimilation and targeting of enzymes to organelles

I am studying the regulation genes encoding enzymes involved in purine biosynthesis in legume nodules. Tropical legumes assimilate ammonia formed by nitrogenase through synthesis of purines in nodules. Rates of purine biosynthesis in these tissues are 104 times greater than in meristematic tissues of the plant. We have identified both transcriptional and post-translational regulation of the pathway by studying the effects of short and long-term deprivation of N2.

The purine biosynthesis pathway is localised in both plastids and mitochondria in nodules of tropical legumes. We are studying the localisation of the enzymes to these organelles using GFP fusions.

Small RNAs as long distance signalling molecules in phloem of plants?

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered class of small non-coding RNA that play a significant regulatory role in both plants and animals by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. In plants many of the targets of miRNAs are mRNAs encoding transcription factors that play a role in developmental processes but it is now becoming obvious that they regulate many processes and may also have a role in regulating plant responses to stress. We are investigating the translocation of miRNAs in phloem of Lupinus albus, a plant from which phloem exudate can easily be isolated, and in the model plant Arabidopsis thalliana. We have cloned miRNAs from phloem and characterised their distribution in L.albus. We are now using the information gained to develop strategies to prove transport of miRNAs in Arabidopsis where mutants in miRNA biogenesis are available. Assays to study phloem loading and unloading of miRNAs are being developed and the proteins responsible for transport cloned.

Aniline blue staining of lupin pedicel showing vascular tissue including phloem Phloem bleeding from lupin flowers A grafted Arabidopsis plant used to study translocation of signals in phloem

Molecular analysis of lupin seeds components including allergens

There is increasing interest in lupin seed proteins and milk as human foods and a number of health benefits have been associated with its consumption. High protein and fibre (and low allergen content) are important characteristics for lupins as human food. However we have very little information about what it is that determines the final components of the lupin grain or what the key components in the mature seed that give the positive (and negative) health benefits. In this project lupin seed components are being characterised at different developmental stages using genomic and proteomic approaches. In particular the allergens of lupin are being characterised to determine if there is cross-reactivity with peanut allergens. We have also produced transgenic lupins modified at different stages of pod set and seed development. The long-term aim is to determine the regulatory processes involved in formation of protein and fibre and use this knowledge to improve the seed for human consumption.

Selected grants

2013

  • High-throughput sample preparation robotics to enable emerging large-scale plant genomics, metabolomics and proteomics research; Foley W, Warren C, Adams M, Smith P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF).

2012

  • Nutrient transfer across symbiotic membranes in soybean; Udvardi M, Poole P, Smith P, Overall R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2007

  • Symbiotic transport proteins in legumes; Day D, Smith P, Ludwig M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
  • Climate controlled physical containment 2 (PC2) and pathogen/insect contained glasshouse facility; Day D, Guest D, Warren C, Simpson S, Kennedy I, Overall R, Smith P, McArthur C, Mansfield S, Gardiner J, McConchie R, Copeland L, Kecskes M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF).

2006

  • Determining allergen profile for individuals allergic to both lupin and peanut or soybean. Determini; Ellis A, Rodd K, Quail K, Smith P; Grain Foods CRC/BLO Project.
  • Is transpost of miRNAs essential for plant development?; Smith P, Atkins C; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Soo, L., Walczyk, N., Smith, P. (2012). Using Genome-Enabled Technologies to Address Allergens in Seeds of Crop Plants: Legumes as a Case Study. In Ganesh K. Agrawal, Randeep Rakwal (Eds.), Seed Development: OMICS Technologies Toward Improvement of Seed Quality and Crop Yield, (pp. 503-525). Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.
  • Smith, P., Atkins, C. (2008). Lupin. In Chittaranjan Kole, Timothy C. Hall (Eds.), Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants: Transgenic Legume Grains and Forages, (pp. 189-197). United States: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Clements, J., Buirchell, B., Yang, H., Smith, P., Sweetingham, M., Smith, C. (2005). Lupin. In Ram J. Singh, Prem P. Jauhar (Eds.), Genetic resources, Chromosome Engineering and Crop Improvement, Series II, Grain Legumes, (pp. 231-323). New York: CRC Press.
  • Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2003). Transformation of Lupins. In Pawan K. Jaiwal, Rana P. Singh (Eds.), Applied Genetics of Leguminosae Biotechnology, (pp. 205-211). New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Journals

  • Walczyk, N., Smith, P., Tovey, E., Wright, G., Fleischfresser, D., Roberts, T. (2013). Analysis of crude protein and allergen abundance in peanuts (arachis hypogaea cv. walter) from three growing regions in Australia. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61(15), 3714-3725. [More Information]
  • Brear, E., Day, D., Smith, P. (2013). Iron: an essential micronutrient for the legume–rhizobium symbiosis. Frontiers in Plant Science, 4, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Smith, C., Parker (nee Barthet), M., Melino, V., Smith, P., Day, D., Soole, K. (2011). Alterations in the mitochondrial alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenase NDB4 lead to changes in mitochondrial electron transport chain composition, plant growth and response to oxidative stress. Plant and Cell Physiology, 52(7), 1222-1237. [More Information]
  • Barton, D., Cole, L., Collings, D., Liu, D., Smith, P., Day, D., Overall, R. (2011). Cell-to-cell transport via the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. Plant Journal, 66(5), 806-817. [More Information]
  • Atkins, C., Emery, R., Smith, P. (2011). Consequences of transforming narrow leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius [L.]) with an ipt gene under control of a flower-specific promoter. Transgenic Research, 20, 1321-1332. [More Information]
  • Foley, R., Gao, L., Spriggs, A., Soo, L., Goggin, D., Smith, P., Atkins, C., Singh, K. (2011). Identification and characterisation of seed storage protein transcripts from Lupinus angustifolius. BMC Plant Biology, 11(59), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Rodriguez, C., Atkins, C., Mann, A., Jordan, M., Smith, P. (2011). Macromolecular composition of phloem exudate from white lupin (Lupinus albus L.). BMC Plant Biology, 11(36), 1-19. [More Information]
  • Atkins, C., Smith, P., Rodriguez-Medina, C. (2010). Macromolecules in phloem exudates - a review. Protoplasma, 248(1), 165-172. [More Information]
  • Armstrong, A., Badger, M., Day, D., Parker (nee Barthet), M., Smith, P., Millar, A., Whelan, J., Atkin, O. (2008). Dynamic changes in the mitochondrial electron transport chain underpinning cold acclimation of leaf respiration correct. Plant, Cell and Environment, 31(8), 1156-1169.
  • Goggin, D., Mir, G., Smith, W., Stuckey, M., Smith, P. (2008). Proteomic analysis of lupin seed proteins to identify conglutin beta as an allergen, Lup an 1. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(15), 6370-6377.
  • Liu, D., Kuhlmey, B., Smith, P., Day, D., Faulkner, C., Overall, R. (2008). Reflection across plant cell boundaries in confocal laser scanning microscopy. Journal of Microscopy, 231(2), 349-357.
  • Carrie, C., Murcha, M., Kuehn, K., Duncan, O., Parker (nee Barthet), M., Smith, P., Eubel, H., Meyer, E., Day, D., Millar, A., et al (2008). Type II NAD(P)H dehydrogenases are targeted to mitochondria and chloroplasts or peroxisomes in Arabidopsis thaliana. FEBS Letters, 582, 3073-3079. [More Information]
  • Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2007). Translocation in legumes: Assimilates, nutrients, and signaling molecules. Plant Physiology, 144(2), 550-561.
  • Bussell, J., Hall, D., Mann, A., Goggin, D., Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2005). Alternative splicing of the Vupur3 transcript in cowpea produces multiple mRNA species with a single protein product that is present in both plastids and mitochondria. Functional Plant Biology: an international journal of plant function, 32, 683-693.
  • Goggin, D., Lipscombe, R., Fedorova, E., Millar, A., Mann, A., Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2003). Dual Intracellular Localization and Targeting of Aminoimidazole Ribonucleotide Synthetase in Cowpea. Plant Physiology, 131, 1033-1041.
  • Yang, H., Shankar, M., Buirchell, B., Sweetingham, M., Caminero, C., Smith, P. (2002). Development of molecular markers using MFLP linked to a gene conferring resistance to Diaporthe toxica in narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 105, 265-270.
  • Francki, M., Whitaker, P., Smith, P., Atkins, C. (2002). Differential expression of a novel gene during seed triacylglycerol accumulation in lupin species (Lupinus angustifolius L. and L. mutabilis L.). Functional and Integrative Genomics, 2, 292-300.
  • Smith, P., Winter, H., Storer, P., Bussell, J., Schuller, K., Atkins, C. (2002). Effect of Short-Term N2 Deficiency on Expression of the Ureide Pathway in Cowpea Root Nodules. Plant Physiology, 129, 1216-1221.
  • Smith, P., Atkins, C. (2002). Purine Biosynthesis. Big in Cell Division, Even Bigger in Nitrogen Assimilation. Plant Physiology, 128, 793-802.

Conferences

  • Duxbury, Z., Willows, R., Smith, P., Chen, M. (2013). The Evolution of Far-Red Light Perception in Acaryochloris Marina, a Chlorophyll d-Containing Cyanobacterium. Photosynthesis Research for Food, Fuel and Future, Hangzhou: Zhejiang University. [More Information]
  • Smith, P., Goggin, D., Mir, G., Cameron, E., Colinet, H., Stuckey, M., Smith, W., Prescott, S., Soutter, V., Loblay, R. (2008). Characterisation of allergen proteins in lupin seeds and the relationship between peanut and lupin allergens. 12th International Lupin Conference: Lupins for health and wealth, New Zealand: Canterbury, N.Z: International Lupin Association.
  • Atkins, C., Smith, P., Rodriguez, C. (2008). Lupin - A model grain legume species for studies of translocation and signaling. 12th International Lupin Conference: Lupins for health and wealth, New Zealand: Canterbury, N.Z: International Lupin Association.

2013

  • Walczyk, N., Smith, P., Tovey, E., Wright, G., Fleischfresser, D., Roberts, T. (2013). Analysis of crude protein and allergen abundance in peanuts (arachis hypogaea cv. walter) from three growing regions in Australia. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61(15), 3714-3725. [More Information]
  • Brear, E., Day, D., Smith, P. (2013). Iron: an essential micronutrient for the legume–rhizobium symbiosis. Frontiers in Plant Science, 4, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Duxbury, Z., Willows, R., Smith, P., Chen, M. (2013). The Evolution of Far-Red Light Perception in Acaryochloris Marina, a Chlorophyll d-Containing Cyanobacterium. Photosynthesis Research for Food, Fuel and Future, Hangzhou: Zhejiang University. [More Information]

2012

  • Soo, L., Walczyk, N., Smith, P. (2012). Using Genome-Enabled Technologies to Address Allergens in Seeds of Crop Plants: Legumes as a Case Study. In Ganesh K. Agrawal, Randeep Rakwal (Eds.), Seed Development: OMICS Technologies Toward Improvement of Seed Quality and Crop Yield, (pp. 503-525). Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.

2011

  • Smith, C., Parker (nee Barthet), M., Melino, V., Smith, P., Day, D., Soole, K. (2011). Alterations in the mitochondrial alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenase NDB4 lead to changes in mitochondrial electron transport chain composition, plant growth and response to oxidative stress. Plant and Cell Physiology, 52(7), 1222-1237. [More Information]
  • Barton, D., Cole, L., Collings, D., Liu, D., Smith, P., Day, D., Overall, R. (2011). Cell-to-cell transport via the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. Plant Journal, 66(5), 806-817. [More Information]
  • Atkins, C., Emery, R., Smith, P. (2011). Consequences of transforming narrow leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius [L.]) with an ipt gene under control of a flower-specific promoter. Transgenic Research, 20, 1321-1332. [More Information]
  • Foley, R., Gao, L., Spriggs, A., Soo, L., Goggin, D., Smith, P., Atkins, C., Singh, K. (2011). Identification and characterisation of seed storage protein transcripts from Lupinus angustifolius. BMC Plant Biology, 11(59), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Rodriguez, C., Atkins, C., Mann, A., Jordan, M., Smith, P. (2011). Macromolecular composition of phloem exudate from white lupin (Lupinus albus L.). BMC Plant Biology, 11(36), 1-19. [More Information]

2010

  • Atkins, C., Smith, P., Rodriguez-Medina, C. (2010). Macromolecules in phloem exudates - a review. Protoplasma, 248(1), 165-172. [More Information]

2008

  • Smith, P., Goggin, D., Mir, G., Cameron, E., Colinet, H., Stuckey, M., Smith, W., Prescott, S., Soutter, V., Loblay, R. (2008). Characterisation of allergen proteins in lupin seeds and the relationship between peanut and lupin allergens. 12th International Lupin Conference: Lupins for health and wealth, New Zealand: Canterbury, N.Z: International Lupin Association.
  • Armstrong, A., Badger, M., Day, D., Parker (nee Barthet), M., Smith, P., Millar, A., Whelan, J., Atkin, O. (2008). Dynamic changes in the mitochondrial electron transport chain underpinning cold acclimation of leaf respiration correct. Plant, Cell and Environment, 31(8), 1156-1169.
  • Smith, P., Atkins, C. (2008). Lupin. In Chittaranjan Kole, Timothy C. Hall (Eds.), Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants: Transgenic Legume Grains and Forages, (pp. 189-197). United States: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Atkins, C., Smith, P., Rodriguez, C. (2008). Lupin - A model grain legume species for studies of translocation and signaling. 12th International Lupin Conference: Lupins for health and wealth, New Zealand: Canterbury, N.Z: International Lupin Association.
  • Goggin, D., Mir, G., Smith, W., Stuckey, M., Smith, P. (2008). Proteomic analysis of lupin seed proteins to identify conglutin beta as an allergen, Lup an 1. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(15), 6370-6377.
  • Liu, D., Kuhlmey, B., Smith, P., Day, D., Faulkner, C., Overall, R. (2008). Reflection across plant cell boundaries in confocal laser scanning microscopy. Journal of Microscopy, 231(2), 349-357.
  • Carrie, C., Murcha, M., Kuehn, K., Duncan, O., Parker (nee Barthet), M., Smith, P., Eubel, H., Meyer, E., Day, D., Millar, A., et al (2008). Type II NAD(P)H dehydrogenases are targeted to mitochondria and chloroplasts or peroxisomes in Arabidopsis thaliana. FEBS Letters, 582, 3073-3079. [More Information]

2007

  • Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2007). Translocation in legumes: Assimilates, nutrients, and signaling molecules. Plant Physiology, 144(2), 550-561.

2005

  • Bussell, J., Hall, D., Mann, A., Goggin, D., Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2005). Alternative splicing of the Vupur3 transcript in cowpea produces multiple mRNA species with a single protein product that is present in both plastids and mitochondria. Functional Plant Biology: an international journal of plant function, 32, 683-693.
  • Clements, J., Buirchell, B., Yang, H., Smith, P., Sweetingham, M., Smith, C. (2005). Lupin. In Ram J. Singh, Prem P. Jauhar (Eds.), Genetic resources, Chromosome Engineering and Crop Improvement, Series II, Grain Legumes, (pp. 231-323). New York: CRC Press.

2003

  • Goggin, D., Lipscombe, R., Fedorova, E., Millar, A., Mann, A., Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2003). Dual Intracellular Localization and Targeting of Aminoimidazole Ribonucleotide Synthetase in Cowpea. Plant Physiology, 131, 1033-1041.
  • Atkins, C., Smith, P. (2003). Transformation of Lupins. In Pawan K. Jaiwal, Rana P. Singh (Eds.), Applied Genetics of Leguminosae Biotechnology, (pp. 205-211). New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

2002

  • Yang, H., Shankar, M., Buirchell, B., Sweetingham, M., Caminero, C., Smith, P. (2002). Development of molecular markers using MFLP linked to a gene conferring resistance to Diaporthe toxica in narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 105, 265-270.
  • Francki, M., Whitaker, P., Smith, P., Atkins, C. (2002). Differential expression of a novel gene during seed triacylglycerol accumulation in lupin species (Lupinus angustifolius L. and L. mutabilis L.). Functional and Integrative Genomics, 2, 292-300.
  • Smith, P., Winter, H., Storer, P., Bussell, J., Schuller, K., Atkins, C. (2002). Effect of Short-Term N2 Deficiency on Expression of the Ureide Pathway in Cowpea Root Nodules. Plant Physiology, 129, 1216-1221.
  • Smith, P., Atkins, C. (2002). Purine Biosynthesis. Big in Cell Division, Even Bigger in Nitrogen Assimilation. Plant Physiology, 128, 793-802.

To update your profile click here. For support on your academic profile contact Research Support.