Our Research

Addressing a critical problem

The world faces three interconnected threats to food security: limited agricultural resources (land, water and key nutrients); a rising human population and per capita food consumption; and a yield gap resulting from reduced productivity of crops due to mismatches between crop genetics and unpredictable environments.

PEB aims to increase the efficiency of energy capture, conversion and use by plants by improving their ability to allocate resources and their tolerance to environmental challenges. Adding efficiency gains together via molecular signalling and control will increase crop plant productivity.

This approach to improving the sustainable productivity of plants will aid in future-proofing food production for Australia and the world.

An innovative research plan

PEB proposes a novel approach to improve sustainable plant yield by optimising their overall efficiency of energy capture, conversion and use. Rather than optimising single nutrient inputs or product outputs, targeting complex processes including plant metabolism, transport, and development for efficiency gains, will be more effective at enhancing overall plant productivity. Improving multiple parameters simultaneously is a necessary solution to the increasing demand for more crop yield from finite land, water, and nutrient resources. Unpredictable environmental challenges adversely affect plant growth and further perturb plant energy balance, also limiting yield. The epigenetic controls, gene variants and signals discovered by the Centre will provide a new basis for creating sustainably productive crops that can weather changing and challenging climates.

The enhancement of plant energy efficiency is being approached by PEB through three Research Programs which combine to translate molecular insights into whole plant performance. These three programs are:

  • P1: Energy metabolism and signalling
  • P2: Gatekeeper cells and specialisation
  • P3: Gene variants and epigenetics

A collaborative effort

The Centre brings together a collection of the world’s best researchers from complementary disciplines and integrates scientific research across the range of scales required to truly address the different aspects of the energy efficiency challenge in plants.

Collaborations across Universities and with Industry Partners avoids “reinvention of the wheel” and draws on existing expertise. Sharing our research keeps it at the cutting edge and builds an international network for its application to real world solutions.

Quick Links

Centre partnerships resulted in a number of significant research publications in top journals

Annual Report

The Centre publishes reports annually summarising performance and future direction. Read the latest 2017 Annual Report here

People Directory

Over 200 internationally competitive staff, students and affiliated researchers call the Centre home

Lab Leaders

Our key Centre projects and strategic direction are developed by its Lab Leaders

Research Programs

Centre partnerships resulted in a number of significant research publications in top journals

Apps & Databases

PEB has built a number of valuable research databases across Australia that are available to researchers in several formats, from GUI interfaces for queries, to data downloads and web services.

Technology Platforms

The Centre continually develops and apply's the newest technologies in order to answer the most challenging scientific questions