Smoke-derived karrikins reveal a new pathway for plant development.Project title: Smoke-derived karrikins reveal a new pathway for plant development

Dates: 2015 - 2018

Funding: Australian Research Council

Location: Perth

Research themes

  • molecular biology
  • seed physiology
  • plant growth regulators

Project description

This project builds upon many years of BGPA and UWA research into smoke-derived products that promote seed germination. Karrikins are a novel class of plant growth regulators that stimulate seed germination of many wild plant species, including many that do not occur in fire-prone environments.

Genetic studies on the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana have led to many discoveries regarding the mode of action of karrikins. Leading on from this work, this project aims to identify a new plant growth regulator involved in a recently discovered hormone-signalling pathway that is central to karrikin action.

The project will also explore other potential sources of karrikin-like compounds in the environment, including soil microbial origins. Practical outcomes of this project include the potential for the discovery of new naturally-occurring products that promote seed germination of Australian species.

Key staff

A/Prof Gavin Flematti (UWA), Dr Mark Waters (UWA), Dr David Merritt (BGPA), Prof Kingsley Dixon (Curtin/BGPA), Prof Maria Pérez Fernández (University Pablo de Olavide).

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