The world is facing a serious and urgent threat to food security, with several studies concluding that crop production needs to double by the year 2050 to feed the rapidly growing population. Discovering new factors that enhance crop growth and yields is regarded as a pivotal step in meeting this demand. This project will characterise and synthesise exciting new peptide hormones recently identified in soybean that control plant development. Known members of this peptide family have critical roles in regulating shoot, root and fruit growth, but the function of most remains unknown. Findings will enhance the molecular mechanisms of plant development, and could benefit agricultural sustainability and food security by aiding in the selection of superior crops and the commercialisation of novel regulatory compounds that increase crop yields.

Location: St Lucia

Expected outcomes: advanced understanding of how currently uncharacterised CLE peptides function in plant growth and development. We also expect outcomes to contribute to future research efforts and publications

Supervisor: Dr Brett Ferguson

Before you apply: contact the primary supervisor for more details

Project members

Dr Brett Ferguson

Senior Research Fellow
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences