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Southern Cross Plant Science

Dr Bronwyn Barkla

Dr Bronwyn Barkla


BSc in Biology (University of Toronto)
MSc in Botany (University of Toronto)
PhD in Botany (University of Toronto)

Research interest / Background

Plants are continually challenged to recognize and respond to adverse changes in their environment to avoid detrimental effects on growth and development.

Understanding the mechanisms that crop plants employ to resist and tolerate abiotic stress is of considerable interest for designing agriculture improvement strategies to ensure sustainable productivity.

Dr. Barkla has been applying proteomics technologies to advance our knowledge in plant abiotic stress tolerance using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in parallel with the salt-tolerant model plants Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and Thellungiella salsuginea, and the heavy metal tolerant plant Arabidopsis halleri. Recent work has focused on understanding the role and regulation of membrane proteins, with particular emphasis on transport proteins, in plant salt and heavy metal tolerance.

Additionally, research using "omics" approaches has been undertaken to gain further insight into the role of the specialized trichomes called epidermal bladder cells which are found on the leaves and stems of the ice plant, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum.

Research strengths include the fractionation of proteins to reduce sample complexity using non-traditional approaches including Free Flow Electrophoresis.

Other activities

  • Editorial Board Member - Journal of Agricultural Sciences
  • Special Issue Guest Editor - Journal of Proteomics
  • Educational Committee - International Plant Proteomics Organization
  • Peer Review Board Member - JoVE - Journal of Video Experiments

Recent Publications

Bronwyn Barkla at ResearchGate

Barkla B.J., Vera-Estrella R. (2015) Single cell-type comparative metabolomics of epidermal bladder cells from the halophyte Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. Frontiers in Plant Biology, 6, 435.

Oh D‐H, Barkla B.J., Vera‐Estrella R, Pantoja O, Lee S‐Y, Bohnert HJ, Dassanayake, M. (2015) Cell type-specific responses to salinity - the epidermal bladder cell transcriptome of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. New Phytologist 207, 627-644.

Rosas-Santiago P, Lagunas-Gómez D, Barkla B.J., Vera-Estrella R, Lalonde S, Jones A, Frommer WB, Zimmermannova O, Sychrová H, Pantoja O. (2015) Identification of Rice Cornichon as a possible cargo receptor for the sodium transporter OsHKT1;3. Journal of Experimental Botany 66, 2733-2748.

Barkla, B.J., Vera-Estrella, R. Pantoja, O. (2014) Growing Arabidopsis in vitro: cell suspensions, in vitro culture, and regeneration. Methods Mol. Biol. 1062, 53-62.

Cárdenas, C., Barkla, B.J., Wacher, C., Delgado-Olivares, L., Rodríguez-Sanoja, R. (2014) Protein extraction method for the proteomic study of a Mexican traditional fermented starchy food. Journal of Proteomics, 111:139-147.

Vera-Estrella, R., Barkla, B.J., Pantoja, O. (2014) Comparative 2D-DIGE analysis of salinity responsive microsomal proteins from leaves of salt-sensitive Arabidopsis thaliana and salt-tolerant Thellungiella salsuginea. Journal of Proteomics. 111, 113-27.

Barkla, B.J., Vera-Estrella, R., Miranda-Vergara, M.C., Pantoja, O. (2014) Quantitative proteomics of heavy metal exposure in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals alterations in one-carbon metabolism enzymes upon exposure to zinc. J. Proteomics 111, 128-38.

Barkla,B.J. Vera-Estrella,R. Pantoja,O. (2014) Growing Arabidopsis in vitro: cell suspensions, in vitro culture, and regenerationMethods Mol Biol. 1062, 53-62.

Agrawal,G.K., Job,D., Kieselbach,T., Barkla,B.J., Chen,S.X., et al. (2013) INPPO Actions and Recognition as a Driving Force for Progress in Plant Proteomics: Change of Guard, INPPO Update, and Upcoming ActivitiesProteomics, 13, 3093-3100.

Barkla,B.J., Castellanos-Cervantes,T.Diaz de Leon,J.L. Matros,A. Mock,H.P. Perez-Alfocea,F. Salekdeh,G.H. Witzel,K. Zorb,C. (2013). Elucidation of salt stress defence and tolerance mechanisms of crop plants using proteomicsProteomics, 13, 1885-1900.

Barkla,B.J.,Vera-Estrella,R, Pantoja,O.(2013) Progress and challenges for abiotic stress proteomics of crop plantsProteomics 13, 1801-1815.

Agrawal,G.K. Sarkar,A. Righetti,P.G. Pedreschi,R. Carpentier,S. Wang,T., Barkla,B.J. Kohli,A. Ndimba,B.K. Bykova,N.V. Rampitsch,C. Zolla,L. Rafudeen,M.S. Cramer,R. Bindschedler,L.V. Tsakirpaloglou,N. Ndimba,R.J. Farrant,J.M. Renaut,J. Job,D. Kikuchi,S. Rakwal,R. (2013) A decade of plant proteomics and mass spectrometry: Translation of technical advancements to food security and safety issuesMass Spectrom.Rev, 32, 335-365.

Barkla,B.J., Vera-Estrella,R.,Pantoja,O. (2012) Protein profiling of epidermal bladder cells from the halophyte mesembryanthemum crystallinumProteomics, 12, 2862-2865.

Barkla,B.J. Bindschedler,L.V. Cramer,R. Sarkar,A. Renaut,J. Job,D. Rakwal,R. (2012) Translational plant proteomics: A perspectiveJ Proteomics 75, 4588-4601.

Agrawal,G.K. Sarkar,A. Agrawal,R. Ndimba,B.K. Tanou,G. Dunn,M.J. Kieselbach,T. Cramer,R. Wienkoop,S. Chen,S. Rafudeen,M.S. Deswal,R.Barkla,B.J. Weckwerth,W. Heazlewood,J.L. Renaut,J. Job,D. Chakraborty,N. Rakwal,R. 2012. Boosting the Globalization of Plant Proteomics through INPPO: Current Developments and Future ProspectsProteomics, 12, 359-368.

Vera-Estrella,R. Barkla,B.J., Amezcua-Romero,J.C.,Pantoja,O. (2012) Day/Night Regulation of Aquaporins During the CAM Cycle in Mesembryanthemum crystallinumPlant Cell Environment 35, 485-501.

Updated: 19 July 2016