Full Project Title: 
The Giant Grasses Project
Project Summary: 

Giant tropical grasses – including crops sugarcane and sorghum - being among the fastest growing plants, are of much interest for future bio-economies. A major impediment to sustainable crop systems is that most are environmentally unsustainable. Inefficient use of fertilisers causes off-site pollution, jeopardizes the integrity of natural ecosystems and human health and produces greenhouse gases. Key to sustainability is knowledge - and ultimately effective manipulation - of nutrient cycles and selection of nutrient-efficient plant cultivars. At the cutting edge of plant biology, biogeochemistry and ecology, the project explores traits of domesticated giant grasses and wild ancestors in context of soil function and productivity. The generated knowledge provides avenues for designing sustainable agro-ecosystems based on ecological principles.

Funding Sources: 

This project is funded by CRC Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology (CRCSIIB) and Sugarcane Research and Development Cooperation (SRDC UQ043).

  • Project Collaborators

    Prof Susanne Schmidtsusanne.schmidt@uq.edu.au

    School of Agriculture and Food Science
    The University of Queensland

    Dr Nicole Robinson nicole.robinson@uq.edu.au 

    School of Agriculture and Food Science
    The University of Queensland

    Dr Chanyarat Paungfoo-Lonhienne chanyarat@uq.edu.au

    School of Agriculture and Food Science
    Australian Centre for Ecogenomics
    The University of Queensland

  • Postgraduate Students
  • Industry Partners
  • Publications

    Robinson, N; Vogt, J; Lakshmanan, P; Schmidt, S (2012) Nitrogen physiology of sugarcane, In Sugarcane Physiology (eds P Moore, F Botha). Wiley.

    Vinall, K; Schmidt, S; Brackin, R; Lakshmanan, P; Robinson, N (2012) Amino acids are a nitrogen source for sugarcane. Functional Plant Biology39(6): 503-511.

    Robinson, N; Brackin, R; Vinall, K; Soper, F; Holst, J; Gamage, H; Paungfoo-Lonhienne, H; Rennenberg, H; Lakshmanan, P; Schmidt, S (2011) Nitrate paradigm does not hold up for sugarcane. Plos One 6, e19045. 

    Allen, DE; Kingston, G; Rennenberg, H; Dalal, RC; Schmidt, S (2010) Effect of nitrogen fertilizer management and waterlogging on nitrous oxide emission from subtropical sugarcane soils. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 136: 209–217         

    Paungfoo-Lonhienne, C; Rentsch, D; Robatzek, S; Webb, RI; Sagulenko, E; Näsholm, T; Schmidt, S; Lonhienne, TGA (2010) Turning the Table: Plants Consume Microbes as a Source of Nutrients. PLoS ONE, 5(7): e11915

    McGrath, KC; Mondav, R; Sintrajaya, R; Slattery, B; Schmidt, S; Schenk, PM (2010) Development of an environmental functional gene microarray for soil microbial communities. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76: 7161-7170

    Whan, A; Robinson, N; Lakshmanan, P; Schmidt, S; Aitken, K (2010) A quantitative genetics approach to nitrogen use efficiency in sugarcane. Functional Plant Biology, 37: 448-454

    Rossiter-Rachor, NA; Setterfield, SA; Douglas, MM; Hutley, LB; Cook, GD; Schmidt, S (2009) Invasive Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass) is an ecosystem transformer of nitrogen relations in Australia’s tropical savanna. Ecological Applications, 19(6): 1546-1560.    

    Robinson, N; Fletcher, A; Whan, A; Critchley, C; von Wiren, N; Lakshmanan, P; Schmidt S (2007) Sugarcane genotypes differ in internal nitrogen use efficiency. Functional Plant Biology 34: 1-9. 

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