A new horizon for crop protection: dsRNA-based biopesticides to target fungal pathogens

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor Neena Mitterarcbioclayhub@uq.edu.au

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. 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 a key fungal diseases 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.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of molecular biology and plant pathology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of horticultural science and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of plant pathology and RNAi is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

Apply now