PhD students in the Plant Ecophysiology and Cyanogenesis Group in the School of Biological Sciences have won the AW Howard Trust Memorial Postgraduate Research Fellowship two years running.
The Trust aims to promote and support pasture research, and commemorates Amos Howard’s contribution to the use of subterranean clover as a pasture plant in Australia. The winner is awarded an annual grant of $10,000 for three years. Last year, Max Cowan won the award for his project on heritability & plasticity of cyanogenesis in wild relatives of sorghum native to Australia. This year, Viviana Rosati was awarded the Research Fellowship for her project on the epigenetic regulation of cyanogenic glycosides in Sorghum using some special varieties developed at Monash over the past 10 years. Viviana also won the Plant Nutrition Trust Award earlier this year, to fund her travel to present her results at the American Society of Plant Biology in Austin Texas in July. Both students are supervised by Ros Gleadow and Cecilia Blomstedt in the School of Biological Sciences.
Sorghum is the fifth most important grain crop in the world. It is also an important pasture crop but produces cyanide in response to stress and can become toxic to stock. Both projects are developing novel ways to increase the tolerance sorghum to drought so that the crop remains suitable for grazing.
For more information on the AW Howard Trust, visit the South Australian Research and Development web site.