PhD Scholarship in Regulators of Female Reproductive Development in Cowpea
University of Queensland Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

PhD scholarship in Regulators of Female Reproductive Development in Cowpea

Job No:510591
Area:Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Salary (FTE):RTP Scholarship NON-BANDED ($28,092.00 - $28,092.00)
Work type:Full Time - Scholarship
Location: St Lucia

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) 

QAAFI is a research institute of the University of Queensland (UQ) which was established in 2010 and comprises of four research centres – the Centre for Crop Science, the Centre for Horticultural Science, the Centre for Animal Science and the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences.

QAAFI's team of 450 researchers, postgraduate students and support staff undertake high impact science for agriculture and food industries. The institute’s strong partnership with the Queensland Government provides our researchers with a direct link to the agriculture industry in Queensland, and world class field research facilities throughout Queensland. Agriculture is one of UQ’s highest ranked research fields nationally and internationally and QAAFI is a global leader in agricultural research in subtropical and tropical production systems.

About This Opportunity

Project Description

The Hy-Gain project (Hy-Gain), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a multi-party international research project comprising seven world leading teams aiming to develop a novel technology to increase seed yield and productivity in sorghum and cowpea crops for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. This exciting 5-year project, is led by QAAFI with the project director, Prof Anna Koltunow, based in the Centre for Crop Science. Hy-Gain aims to ensure the technology is compatible with plant breeding to support the future, rapid delivery of new high yielding sorghum and cowpea hybrids and improved varieties. Hy-Gain involves research work at multiple sites in Queensland (Hermitage at Warwick; Gatton and St. Lucia) and collaboration with five international research organisations and a multinational seed company. The project has some fundamental discovery work, however its key aim is building and testing the utility of the technology in plants under controlled glasshouse and field conditions with evaluations involving input from African sorghum and cowpea breeders. The research objectives span molecular work in the laboratory to field work involving genetic, genomic and transgenic technologies and testing reproductive productivity of plants in glasshouse and in the field. Communication and collaboration between the parties to efficiently achieve goals, protection of discoveries, dissemination of data to the public via scientific publications and web-based media are important outcomes of the project.

Project Activities

The formation of the female gametophyte is a regulated sequential process in plants. Meiosis, cell death and mitosis are involved in the elaboration of this important structure, the progenitor of the seed. Previous work has led to the development of a set of female cell-type specific transcriptomes via laser capture microdissection. This has identified a suite of genes for further functional analyses. This project will involve the characterization of a repertoire of genes with the opportunity to examine their functions in transgenic plants. The genes under examination would involve those that impact on pre-fertilization gametophyte development and post fertilization seed initiation. The latter is of particular interest for legume seed yield and quality. This PhD is based at St Lucia, Brisbane.

Our Ideal Candidate

To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

What We Can Offer

This Scholarship provides a stipend of $28,092 per annum, indexed annually for 3 years with the possibility of extension.

For further information on scholarships please refer to:


To discuss this role please contact the Hygain Project Team

Want to Apply?

To apply for this scholarship please visit

Advertised: 18 Jun 2020

Applications close: 30 Oct 2020 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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