Speakers at ICG-13

Speakers at ICG-13




























Robert Henry conducts research on the development of new products from plants. His research targets improved understanding of the molecular basis of the quality of food and other products produced from plants and genome analysis to capture novel genetic resources for diversification of food and energy crops. His research involves sequencing the genome and transcriptome of wild and domesticated plants to discovery useful variation. He is Professor of Innovation in Agriculture and Foundation Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, an Institute of the University of Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Government. He was previously Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics at Southern Cross University and Research Program Leader in the Queensland Agricultural Biotechnology Centre. He has been involved in establishing several Cooperative Research Centres in Australia and has contributed to the management of research funding by Rural Research and Development Corporations in Australia. He is a graduate of the University of Queensland, Macquarie University and La Trobe University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.


Genomics of Crop Diversity

Robert J Henry

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072 Australia

Plant improvement is largely based upon exploiting natural variation in the gene pools of crops to develop superior genotypes for agriculture and food production. Analysis of the transcriptomes and genomes of crop species reveals the molecular basis of key traits and facilitates selection or modification of alleles to deliver novel variants. Analysis of the genomes of crop wild relatives (Brozynska et al., 2016) provides access to a wider gene pool for plant breeding. Analysis of the genomes of wild rice relatives has identified an expanded gene pool with genes for disease resistance, climate adaptation and improved grain quality (Brozynska et al., 2017; Stein et al., 2018). Analysis of the diversity of transcriptomes of developing wheat grains has identified the molecular basis of processing and end use quality and revealed new targets for increased rates of genetic improvement of wheat (Rangan et al., 2017; Henry et al., 2018). Progress with analysis of diversity using genomics in other species including, coffee (Denoeud et al., 2014) sorghum, sugarcane, pigeon pea, macadamia and eucalypts will also be described. Analysis of variation in wild populations may also guide selection to support adaptation to climate change. Informative investigations in progress using genomics approaches range from studies of wild grasses to rainforest trees (Yap et al., 2017).


Brozynska M, Agnelo Furtado A and Henry RJ (2016) Genomics of Crop Wild Relatives: Expanding the Gene Pool for Crop Improvement. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14, 1070-1085.

Brozynska, M., Copetti, D., Furtado, A., Wing, R. A., Crayn, D., Fox, G., Ishikawa, R. and Henry, R. J. (2017), Sequencing of Australian wild rice genomes reveals ancestral relationships with domesticated rice. Plant Biotechnology Journal 15, 765-774. doi:10.1111/pbi.12674

Rangan P, Furtado A, Henry RJ (2017) The transcriptome of the developing grain: a resource for understanding seed development and the molecular control of the functional and nutritional properties of wheat. BMC Genomics 18, 766.

Henry RJ, Rangan P, Furtado A (2018) Wheat seed transcriptome analysis reveals genes controlling key traits for human preference and crop adaptation. Current Opinion in Plant Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.05.002

Denoeud F, Carretero-Paulet L, Dereeper A, Droc G, et al.,(2014) The Coffee Genome Provides Insight into the Convergent Evolution of Caffeine Biosynthesis. Science 345, 1181-1184.

Stein JC, Yu Y, et al.,(2018) Genomes of 13 domesticated and wild rice relatives highlight genetic conservation, turnover and innovation across the genus Oryza. Nature Genetics doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0040-0

Moner AM, Furtado, A and Henry RJ (2018) Chloroplast phylogeny of A genome rice species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.05.002

Yap J-Y S, Rossetto M, Costion C, Crayn D, Kooyman R, Richardson J, Henry R (2017) Filters of floristic exchange: how traits and climate shape the rainforest invasion of Sahul from Sunda. Journal of Biogeography doi:10.1111/jbi.13143

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