This project is part of the ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Crop Protection, a large multi-institute research program encompassing members of state Departments of Agriculture, University of Queensland, University of Adelaide, La Trobe University, University of Tasmania, Curtin University, and various industries including Nufarm Limited. The candidate will be an active member of the Hub and will be provided opportunities for research networking, relationship building, and career development through academia and/or industry. Our team is focused specifically on using new BioClayTM particles to deliver interfering RNA molecules to disrupt invasion of key fungal diseases such as Botrytis, Verticillium, Fusarium, and Sclerotinia affecting Australian and International Crops.
RNA interference, or gene silencing, offers a significant opportunity to improve fungal disease resistance in plants. The main aim of this project is to assess the efficacy of Bioclay-delivered dsRNA for sustained protection against fungal pathogens. The project will include controlled environment bioassays and molecular investigations on the uptake and responses of selected crops and fungal isolates to the Bioclay-delivered RNAi molecules.