Our research harvests knowledge of how genetic and environmental factors contribute to end-use properties of crops and other added-value natural products.
Southern Cross Plant Science (SCPS) has an integrated portfolio of research themes focused on the genetics, genomics and phytochemistry underpinning selection, cultivation and utilisation of plants. We have major themes focused on how plants interact and adapt to the environment, and natural product composition and quality.
With over 40 research and technical staff and PhD students, including 10 post-doctoral scientists, we are able to draw on expertise and infrastructure in
- Agronomy and plant physiology focused on soil nutrition
- Bioinformatics and computational biology
- Crop, forest and native plant genomics
- Plant Genetic Resources and characterisation
- Genetic diversity
- Crop and model plant Proteomics
- Natural product variation
Our infrastructure includes high quality facilities for plant growth, pilot scale extraction, analytical chemistry, high throughput DNA sequencing, genotyping and bioinformatics. This is complemented by expertise in agronomy and soil science. The production and supply chain of natural products can be followed from farm to human health by integration with pharmacological analysis and clinical trials.
Targets and commodities include Nutritional Food, Bioactives and other high value Natural Products from Oilseed, Grain, Horticultural and Plantation crops, Forestry, Functional foods, Herbal medicinal and health products, and Natural pesticides. We work with others at SCU and elsewhere to understand and develop natural products from the marine environment, including algae and molluscs.
The Director of SCPS, Professor Graham King, is an internationally renowned scientist in the fields of crop genetics, quantitative genetics, genomics and epigenetics research underpinning plant breeding and the understanding of genetic diversity. He has a particularly strong research record in Brassica crops.